I woke up very early on this mid-November morning and decided to go to one of my favorite places – Strawbridge Lake – for a long, leisurely walk. The weather was perfect; unusually warm and sunny for the time of year. I knew an opportunity like this would likely not come again. I dressed hurriedly by the light of the rising sun, said goodbye to my sleeping cat, and quietly closed the front door behind me.
I began at the upper stretch of the lake. It was calm. A gentle breeze stirred the air to no avail. Only the slightest ripple responded. The very definition of languid. Its slow movement downstream called out to me. “No hurry…stop for a while. Catch your breath. See how beautiful I am when I am still. Look at my reflection. I am a mirror of all that surrounds me.”
I stood unmoving on the bank. It was so quiet I could hear my heart beat. I ached with the loveliness of it all.
After awhile, I walked slowly downstream. Here a slight descent created a small waterfall. The sun captured its movement and sunbeams danced in its reflection. “Look at me, it called out. See how I create rainbows at the bottom of the waterfall. I am in motion. Listen to the music I make as the rocks try to slow my progress.”
Later in the day, sitting on my balcony with my sweet cat, Lovebug, I thought about the lake and what it had taught me.
Sometimes I need to be quiet like the upper stretch. It gives me time to think about what I see and hear. No rush to action. Thoughtful. Allow myself to see the simple beauty in everyday life without the distraction of the world’s woes.
Sometimes I need to be in motion like the downstream stretch. Obstacles abound. I need to find my way – over, under, around or through. I have to keep going so that I can still hear the music.
I must go back to the Lake very soon and thank her for the lessons. And the reflections.
Carole Leskin is a retired Director of Global Human Resources. Embarking on a second career as a writer and photographer concentrating on her personal accounts of aging, her essays and poetry, frequently accompanied by her photos, are published in Jewish Sacred Aging, Jewish Women of Words, Starts At 60, Navigating Aging ( a Kaiser Health publication), Women’s Older Wisdom, Time Goes By and Next Avenue. Her poems, “Father Time” and “Carole’s Debate” were selected for inclusion in the 2019 anthologies of poetry, New Jersey Bards. Her photos have been featured in Mart R Porter Nature Forum.