Each summer the lake draws me in, I count down the months, the days till the weather and water warms so I can return. This peaceful place that sits tucked away amongst mountains and glaciers- a prize of sorts for enduring the grey, the storms and the winter. Much anticipated is the first day of "hot" Montana summer and I dip my toes in....only to test my patience again, too cold this glacier water- I will have to come back for a swim.
The sun has been shining and warming, once again I follow the little winding path covered by large pines and shady Aspen trees, a few roots and rocks easily stumbled on lies on the forest floor. Small brush and huckleberry bushes scratch the side of my legs- this path sometimes hard to navigate - but it leads you thru. Dappled sunlight shines gently along the pebbled ground...as if lighting the way, you just sense something good is up ahead. And there, a thin sliver of silvery blue, the lake, still soft and silent.
Lovely blue- she awaits the days adventure- who will enjoy her cool company today?
A perfect spot on the beach is immediately located half sun, half shade, the sun hasn't past over the tall stretched trees just yet. Towels are layed out and my bag packed with only a water bottle and a magazine- that never gets read, nature is entrainment enough.
Sigh...I lay down on my towel- satisfaction. I must be closer to heaven today or at least cloud 9.
I see an elderly man in a canvas sun hat approach in a lovely smooth wood kayak. Perhaps he has toiled over it all winter and took it for it's first little voyage. Gracefully it glides thru the smooth water and on to shore where he hops out an pulls it up onto land. He nods to me and smiles- he seems satisfied as well.
The lake is clear and surrounded with lovely rocks of earthy tones - the ones in the water always more beautiful than on the shore, the colors seem more vibrant. I notice a fish decomposing in the deeper end- doesn't bother me a bit, the lake must have been a beautiful place to have lived. A scrawny deer peeks thru the brush grazing on leaves with it's mouthful it stares out towards the blue- generously, sharing the lake with us too.
The warmth of the sun and the heat of the rocks beneath envelopes me- as a lizard I slowly heat up- I feel lazy, there is in an intensity to the heat that I remember vaguely from last summer, familiar. Above I hear the birds- it's an odd but interesting sound as if they sing in a tin can- unusual I only hear this at the lake, still beautiful and unique this bird song calling to each other. Off in the distant man with a "very" British accent talking rather loud to his kids, holding his baby girl she squeals with delight each times he lowers her and her little chubby feet dips in the cool water. I slap an occasional mosquito although bothersome, I don't care too much.
"Manny, Manny" there is much splashing and whining, the Brit calls out to his dog to fetch the damn Frisbee again. Manny swims obediently out to fetch, but whines along the way. The dog is most likely in disbelief that he has to do this retrieving maneuver over again and again in the chilly lake.
A low hum of a puttering skiff passes close by it's motoring towards the voices and laughter on the other side of the beach. My son skips rocks on the water, plop, plop, he counts how many times it skips..
Time for a dip too warm for me, slow as a water lily I inch my self in, then I submerge myself in this cool blue.
Eventually my head goes under and I am part of the lake. All my worries sink to the bottom.
I feel baptized.
Everything that is hard in life, simply washed away.
For a while I stay in the cool lake- weightless, floating.
The scent of Hawaii lingers as I slather suntan lotion on my son, feels strange smelling of coconut as we enjoy our day amongst the mountains and glacier 3150 ft above sea level- not so tropical in these neck of the woods. Still cooled from the water it's just a matter of minutes before I go in again, this routine repeats itself thru out the day - in out, in out, till it's time to go home, so suntan lotion is a must.
My son complains about being eaten alive by the mosquitos while picking unripe huckleberries in the forest along the shore- mustn't be pleasant to be eaten alive I think, nor finding only a smattering of unripe huckleberries. So we go swim again together" his bites don't itch as much" in the water he confesses - the cool liquid feels refreshing on my warm skin too.
Such an easy way to spend the day- just as mother nature invited us too do.
The sun doesn't set until the late hours in Montana, but our bellies remind us that after this long while, it must be close to supper time. We dry off and walk up the lingering path back thru the brush and the shady trees with a sprinkling of sunlight still on the path, my hair still wet from all the swimming, sits in a huge heavy bun on my head- later this evening I will let it fall down and cool my neck. My son still talking about the perfect drift wood he found and made into boats. Rejuvenated we both head out. Feeling very fortunate today being so closely connected to nature and grateful for it's offerings. Mother natures way of giving us a bear hug when we need it the most.
We will be back soon back to enjoy the beautiful lake effect.