Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gone-Away Lake

Part of my story started over thirteen years ago, with a conversation my friends would have referred to as “DTR”—“Define the Relationship”. You know how it goes: girl likes boy, girl thinks boy likes her, but girl isn’t positive about that and sooner or later something must be said. Everyone was having DTRs around this time, it seemed. All of a sudden Todd and I were having our own. We were mountain biking together on October 24th, 1999. And finally the uncertainty was cleared away when Todd broached the subject of our relationship. Our destination that day was a beautiful little lake—Mountain Springs Lake. It was manmade, used for ice harvesting once upon a time. And once upon another time it was the site of our beginning.

For some reason I tend to think those important places will always be there. In a sense, Mountain Springs Lake will always look the way it did on that cloudy October day. In my mind, I can revisit it, along with the thrill of new love and the wonder of what was to come.

But when we went back the other day, the lake didn’t look so hopeful. Half of it was drained away to prevent the dam breaking. Tree trunks were exhumed from their watery resting places. Debris scattered on the now-larger shore: fishing line, a rusty pot, the bottom of somebody’s shoe. I was a little sad that the powers that be had found it necessary to shrink a piece of our history. But I also thought about the history that happens in all the places around us. Whether those places are altered or not, history isn’t changed.
And that girl I was in 1999 . . . I wouldn’t wish myself back there. As thrilling as it was, I like where I am now. The solid love that holds this little growing family. No draining of a lake can take that away. So, go ahead, “powers,” drain away. I still know where we started and I know how far we’ve come.

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