A misty rain and soft breeze blew against my face as I stepped onto the wooden fishing dock. I scanned the lake, trying to absorb its serenity. Then, eyes closed, I focused on the water lapping against the dock, birds singing in the distance and wind blowing through the trees. The scent of fresh air completed the sense of calm as I filled my lungs.
Sometimes I just need to get away. By myself. Where the only distraction is the beauty of nature. Like Thoreau, this is how I refuel.
And on the south shore at the Lackawanna State Park Saturday morning, energy floated in the air. I lingered, swaying with the rhythm of the small waves and willing myself to become one with this beautiful lake and its surroundings.
Leaving the dock, I strolled along the shoreline. As I neared a large rock, a frog leapt from the edge into the water. Hoping to catch a glimpse of its eyes peeking above the surface, I stepped closer, onto the rock.
The wet rock.
I slipped, arms flailing.
There are two types of falls. There is the kind where you simply go down. Splat. And there is the kind where you dance your way down, catching your balance and losing it multiple times before gravity has its way.
Mine was the latter.
The mud made for a soft landing, but I continued to slide, feet first into the lake, barely managing to stop myself just before the water reached my knees.
I struggled to my feet and took a self-conscious glance over my shoulder, glad no one was watching.
“I became one with the lake, alright,” I thought, laughing aloud.
I sloshed back to the parking lot. The waterproof boots I’d put on to keep my feet dry in the wet grass were now filled with lake water. After I dried off and fished a pair of flip-flops out of my car, I decided I’d had enough of the lake and took to the paved park road to continue my walk.
I took my time, resisted the urge to pull my cell phone out of my pocket and a calm settled in again.
Small details captured my attention and I paused to take them in: a patch of wildflowers, a raindrop resting on the tip of a leaf, a robin singing from a treetop.
Then as I reached the far parking lot, another sight drew me back to the lake: two pairs of Canada geese with about 20 goslings grazing on the shore. Their waddling made me chuckle, but at least their webbed feet allowed them to navigate the slippery rocks without going splat.
I watched for several minutes before heading back. Refreshed, I promised to return soon.
But next time not to follow any frogs into the lake.