The Lake

When I was around twelve my mom's friend, who had moved to the country (upstate NY) came down to the Bronx to take us for a trip to her house.  I lived in an apartment building at the time and was so excited.  The car ride was about an hour and me and her two daughters whom I can't for the life of me remember their names sat in the back of her old cross country station wagon and laughed and waved at cars that passed by.  When we got to her home it was nestled in the woods and the trees were magnificently covered with snow.  I think I had my mouth open for a few minutes looking at how beautiful everything was.  (Never ever dreaming that someday I would have a home nestled in the trees).
My mom and her went to the kitchen to have coffee and mom chat while the girls took me to the Lake.
They gave me extra scarves and asked me my shoe size and we were off.  It was a few minutes away from the house.  They had a lot of property and there was a lake nearby.  I had never seen something as beautiful.  The lake was mirror like, covered in ice.  It was sparkly and shimmery and I could almost see myself in it.  Before I knew what was happening, the girls were already skating on the ice.  They had given me a pair of ice skates (which by the way when your from the city, they are foreign to you).  One of the girls came back and helped me lace them up.  Before I understood, I was on the ice being catapulted by my extra long scarf by one of the girls.  Funny, I don't remember falling much and I must have because I don't know how to ice skate.  All I remember is laughing.  Laughing so hard that I probably tinkled a bit.  But when your twelve, that doesn't matter.  I don't remember realizing that the lake was deep, and the sun was strong.  I don't remember any feeling of trepidation about the ice and the probability of it cracking underneath my blades.  I just remember laughing.  No fear, no worries, no regrets.  Just pure joy!  I've often recalled this experience to my mother and she's said "I can't believe you did that!  I would have never let you do that if I knew you had been skating on a lake."
It was huge as I remember and the trees were leaning over it with branches heavy with snow.  How blessed was I to have an experience like that.  How I wish I were her again.  To feel no fear.  To feel no worry, just joy.  I want to feel that joy again.  I want to loose the fear and find the peace that comes from that freedom.  That's all I want this holiday season.
"I wish I had a river, I could skate away on."
Find your joy again.


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