the healing balm of the lake…

I’ve been coming here longer than I can remember and even before that…. this lake… this oasis…


In the 1960s my grandparents bought a parcel of land on a previously unihabited island in the midst of an inland lake in Michigan.  At the time of purchase, boat was the only means of travel to and from the island.  As the island property was partitioned off and sold in “lake-frontage” lots, a road, was built… a pennisula of sorts joining the island to civilization.


In 1968, my grandparents finished my grandmother’s dream home and while my grandfather continued to live on the farm, my grandmother moved the less than 10 miles to the island without him.  As she watched the island become inhabited…houses being built… docks being placed in the water… boats moored… and a 9-hole golf course take over the center of the island, she eventually saw her man reluctantly join her in living at the lake.


The summer of ’69 was my first summer… and my first summer at the lake.  For 38 years I returned summer after summer… when I pined for time with my cousins, I came to the lake… when life left me unsure, I came to the lake… when my heart was broken, I came to the lake… when I fell in love and wanted reveal part of what made me who I am, I came to the lake… and, when it came time to marry the love of my life, I woke up on my wedding day at the lake.


There are a few loves of my life that I have been able to pass on to my husband and kids.  The lake is one.  Our first summers of young married life were spent at the lake.  So many memories of my man saving his vacation time so that he could fish a day longer at the lake.  Memories of new love spending long, lazy hours with seasoned love.  Memories of my grandmother catering to my man’s every whim.  And, memories of bringing young children to play at the water’s edge with the cousins… the next generation to pine for cousin time at the lake.


My grandparents have both gone on to heaven and there is now a different house to come to… but the lake always draws me back.  The lake draws me when my heart hurts or life has been rough.  Here is where my man brought me after we buried our stillborn son.  I found rest and renewal and healing at the lake.


Life ebbs and flows.  There are seasons of life that seem to leave no time for rest and renewal and no time to come to the lake during the summer.  And, there are other seasons of life that demand it.  When life spins so out of control that sleep is only a dream and rest is unattainable… there is only one place for me to go… to the healing balm of the lake.


Watching my girls rest and renew this week… feeling myself unwind… finding sleep in the cool lake breezes… sitting and soaking in the solitude of a flock of swans swim by in the morning hours… reading in the shade… listening to the sympony of waves… unplugging myself from my electronics… all of this and so much more is the balm of the lake that heals my soul.

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