Summer In The Pacific Northwest

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blair Lake

All the stories of the rain are true. It slips down in great damp sheets. Day after day after day. This summer began about two weeks ago. Really. The second week of July felt like October. However, when summer does arrive here in these parts...the heart soars for the glory of the day. Bright blue skies, luminous white, puffed clouds and the greens of well fed trees.

The summer after my independence was lovely. Strings of sunny days, cool indigo nights, just thinking about it makes me swoon. The children were going to be camping with some friends to a hidden lake 15 miles down a logging road. It is a treacherous journey, the cars are white from the dust upon arrival, you can only drive three-four miles an hour. There are only a handful of camps dotted around the most serene lake. We arrived on the eve of my thirty-third birthday. The afternoon was busy with setting up camp kitchens, common areas and comfy sleeping chambers.

Camping sleep usually eludes me, I woke before the dawn and watched day creep over the tree line and reflect mirror pools on the surface, like one dimensional bubbles, resting on the water, before slipping into the depths of the lake. I wanted to dive into the lake. It was my birthday, I was 33. I like those same-same numbers. 11, 22, 33...I will be 44 in a few days. Again, I digress. I wanted to dive into the lake, slow motion style, like the movies. I was afraid the water would be cold. But because, my children's father didn't break me, because I was empowered, I just stood at the shore, walked in a few feet and dove head first into the lake(I like to think in slow motion.)

There was no shock of cold. No gasp for air from the shock of snow melt. The shallow lake had been warmed by the sun, it was welcoming, waiting for me. I swam and swam and swam. I was the only one awake. I floated in the center of the lake, light watery fingers holding me up.

I don't remember making the trip back up the fire road that morning, inching my way back to Eugene, alone. I had to head back to work. But that morning, the morning I turned 33? I was floating in a lake, deep in the woods at dawn...