A Night on Lake Nockamixon

After months of living in a tiny, crowded apartment near a train station–that lovingly provides a two am wake-up call– we are finally in our new home.

On the lake.
Double yay!!

This week has been amazing. And tiring. Not only because moving is hard, but because of the rain. Turns out it’s muddy here.

Yeah, I knew this. In a way you know something about a place you don’t live at–or parenting when you don’t actually have kids. With arrogance and a loose understanding of day to day life in a mud pit. (Not that I’m complaining. It’s worth it. I’ll take the mud. On my hands. Boots. Car. Kids. Floors. Hand towels. Dog. Cat. Yep. Worth it.)

So last night I was exhausted. Mud. Moving. Shit everywhere. Interior of my car has more of my clothes than my dresser, and the Internet still doesn’t work exhausted.

What do you do when you’re exhausted and you’re cleaning up after dinner? Yep. I had some wine.

As I was cleaning my kitchen, drinking my wine, and looking out at the lake, I realized I had to make a choice. I could let the exhaustion claim me, keep me nestled inside. Or I could trudge through the mud to the shed, haul my kayak down to the lake, and do what my aching back considered impossible.

And stupid.

Kayak on the lake at night.

But it was quickly getting dark out. Creepy things troll the dark lake waters. Every kid knows that. I debated. And decided to do the dumb thing.

Because life is never perfect. If I waited for it to be sunny and dry and for the house to be clean and unpacked and for me to have a boat load of energy, I was going to have maybe one or two good experiences on the lake.

But if I pushed past the exhaustion and mud, I could MAKE good experiences despite the imperfect.

So I thwuk, thwuked through the mud to the shed, wrestled the kayak out, dragged it past the still in place silt fence, and down the muddy banks.

It was full dark, but the moment I sat inside the kayak and pushed into the lake, I knew I had done the right thing.

Wow. Here’s where I get weird. Nature weird. Turn your head and avoid eye contact weird.

Cradled in the kayak, there was peace and warmth. And I’m pretty sure the lake hugged me. All my tired thoughts fell away. It wasn’t who I was, but what I was that suddenly mattered.  Action. Stillness. Awareness. Being present without trying. Yes. Home.

As I glided forward, my paddle rippled the black silk water. It was too cloudy for a moon or stars. Didn’t need them. I could see the outline of the lake and distant homes. My iPhone played softly. No one else was about.

It was beautiful. And I wasn’t just happy that I made the decision to go out on the lake at night, by myself, after 2.5 glasses of wine. I was rewarded.

You know that feeling? It’s like the hidden world spoken about by mystical poets reveals itself to you. And at the same time shows you that you are one with it. It’s that holy shit, no words, body suffused with wonder and joy and peace moment.

So last night, I relearned what I knew. And what I’ve heard a thousand times. No time like the present.

And I learned that if I want to have more nights like that one, more experiences that are filled with wonder, I need to make things simple. I need to use small words, instead of big excuses.

Go. Do. Be.

Thanks, Lake Nockamixon.

4 thoughts on “A Night on Lake Nockamixon

  1. This is beautiful and witty in your very unique way, my love. Remembering to step out of yourself and just be is the key to life, to happiness, or the pursuit of it. You're a rockstar.

  2. "Remembering to step out of yourself and just be is the key to life, to happiness, or the pursuit of it." Agreed!! Another reason I love our VAB retreat! And, of course, you and all our fellow writers!

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