While the lake does command center stage, it is not the first thing we see when we drive down the lake road. Yet, the lake may be the spot the boys run to,
before the car has even been put into park… no matter what the
water temperature is. (The temperatures soared into the upper 70s, low 80s this Spring Break, but the water temp was still a cool 40-50!)
There is another place that holds far more action, and far more attraction for the boys. It’s the pre-lake. The swamp. Where everything in the lake, comes from. It’s the Alpha of the lake.
I would never have noticed it, as our car edges closer to the lake… but the boys do, “The swamp looks pretty high,” or low, they say from their seats. What happens there, determines what they’ll see on the water, on the big lake.
This is where the younger boys long to spend their hours, watching, discovering. Looking for things like this…
they can see what my eyes can’t see. Frogs sitting in neon colored moss.
Turtles on logs that I sometimes believe are figments of their imaginations… until I see the flash, and hear the splash… “Mom, they can hear you. You have to be quiet.”
I don’t have to repeat this, do I? The boys don’t want to eat the frogs or the fish… just hold them, and let them go. This is their big play yard… and all of these creatures are their pets. They just want to know who’s here, and say “Hi.”
Although, out of love, more creatures than they would care to think about, have been harmed, accidentally, via the process of discovery.
Frogs get squished by tight hugs,
and fish sometimes swallow hooks, and those hooks are tricky to remove, under water.
I have to resist the urge to wipe the mud off the arm, the black feet need scrubbing… the lake is so much cleaner… just play over there.
But the lake is not the swamp.