My family has come out to the lake and gone home again. The house feels empty and I’m feeling a little blue. But this morning the sun rose on another perfect day and there’s nothing to do when you’re feeling blue except take a paddle on a gorgeous lake.
So I set out.
This is what we lake people call ‘water ski water’ because it’s the perfect glassy surface to fly free at the end of a tow line. I’ve had plenty of beautiful skis like that over the years but this morning was designed for more quiet refection.
Going around a bend I lost the perfect water and headed into a bit of a wind. And I realized I had forgot the sunscreen and the water bottle.
So paddling got more difficult physically and mentally. But I wanted to see how far I could go with a bum shoulder. So I’d rest a bit, floating silently, looking at all the lake houses, now empty of their people for another week.
And up at the next point I saw a tree. A tree that made me feel even more blue.
Because surely that was not fall color! Surely that was just caused by the drought. Even though it’s sitting right on the shore with plenty of water. Sure.
I quickly paddled around that point, and the water was smooth again.
I’d have to go way past that island and around that next point to get even close to the mountain where my parents’ ashes were spread. So even though I was curious about whether I could paddle that far I floated a bit and reluctantly turned around for home.
After all the turkey buzzards were circling above, waiting for me. And I wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction of dehydrating in the hot Alabama sun.
As with any trip, the paddle home seemed a lot shorter than the going out had been. Partly because that breeze was at my back. Partly because I’d moved into a rhythm, one with the water and the sun and the breeze and the paddle.
Still, home looked pretty good.