A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable.” ~William Wordsworth
Today my family went to the beach.
We got their via boat because this particular beach is inaccessible by land unless you walk a LONG way.
The boaters that gather at this slice of beach have been coming here regularly for years. It’s their summer location. They even have a gas powered blender (think string-trimmer motor meets blender.) they rig up specially for beachy drinks like margaritas, pina coladas, and daquaris. It really is the most lovely place to be on a hot summer day.
Today we made the trek out to this beach. The waves were rolling at about 2 to 3 feet, but were sporadic enough that we could take the “small” boat (28 feet) without too much trouble.
As we approached the stretch of beach, we noticed that from where we were, it looked like the beach was nonexistent. Or at least…vertical. From where we were anchoring it looked as if the lake lapped up on shore and then the shore went straight up a dune. For miles.
But we were determined.
And as everyone jumped in and handed off coolers and beach bags and children and bag chairs, I turned and looked out the other way. To the part of the lake where there is no land in sight.
I remembered another time we road out to this beach. A time almost five years ago.
We were on a bigger boat that time. The waves were a bit smaller, but not much and it was just as breezy.
On our way out, two brothers and a sister road together on the bow. This would be their last time to take this ride together in this way. This would be their last boat ride with dad.
As we cut the motors and floated, everyone gathered in the stern of the boat–around dad. And the minister held dad.
There were many boats then as there was today, but unlike today, no one was anchoring. No one was laughing and splashing water as they jumped off boats. No one wore swimsuits.
Words were spoken. I don’t really remember the specific words. I was too busy feeling watched.
After the words, dad was put in his favorite place–the lake. The lake that gives way to the beach. The beach that the boaters go to.
The boaters gave him a tribute. They still do.
And this is where we visit him. This is where we feel him most. This is why, before jumping off the boat today, I took a big breath and said, “hey Pops! Good to see you today! I like what you’ve done with the place.”
And each time today I was told that my son looks like his grandpa, I smiled. Because he does. But I think he looked like him MORE today, if that is possible.
We had a cloudless, blue sky. We had crashing, rolling waves to play in. We had a breeze that kept us comfortable.
And we had a pleasant ride back.
Today was a good day visiting Pops.
for whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
it’s always our self we find in the sea.