I’m standing in the lake with Anjali. It is about 6.00 in the morning on a saturday.
We are at the lake house which my dear friend Stella’s lovely niece Fern has rented, where we spent last night. This morning, we woke up really early – Anji and I. Anji started squirming next to me on the bed at about 4.00am– the result of crashing early last evening. I appreciated her valiant effort to go back to sleep, until she finally gave up at around 4.45am and said, mama, up! And then pointed to the bedroom door and added, ‘Door open it!’
So I got out of the bed, and we went out to the living room. We each pottered around, I changed her diaper – gave her some snacks – and then made the unfortunate decision to take her out on the porch to see this water bird, one that looked like a stork, that just sat motionless on a rock on the lake. Once on the porch, she could see the water. Of course, next came the plea. Water! Water! Water!
Anji loves the water. Its like she was born to be in the water. The first time she saw a beach, she was wild with delight. Last afternoon, her first time at the lake, she stood in the water with all of us, and looked just so happy. She saw the fishes and the bugs, and heard the frogs and she looked so big… and so small. She was so tiny, bulked up in her suit. She played, she explored her boundaries and mostly she was content to just be. No ipad, no iphone, no music. The nature provided all the entertainment she needed.
Today, right now, it is just the two of us. I thought the water would be very cold, but it isn’t. It feels nice. And it feels very still. We don’t see the fishes we saw yesterday– maybe they are still sleeping! I see a couple of loons swimming – and suddenly they disappear under the water. I didn’t know they could do that. I wait to see when they will come out – and suddenly they are at the other end. Can they travel so fast, or are these different ones? I wonder. I feel so present and so still – as if waiting for something, as if both of us are waiting for something. The household is sleeping – it seems everyone is. But not the frogs. And not this squirrel that is perched precariously on this bush eating something – a flower perhaps. Anji says: squirrel swimming. She is proud of stringing the two words together. I don’t know for sure if they can.
Anji turns her attention back to the water. She goes a bit further into the lake, the water still only her knee-deep. She loses her balance – and I catch her – so that she is swimming. It’s sweet. I’m thinking: this is incredible. I’m out here at 6.00 in the morning, which I would never do if it weren’t for Anji. I’m waiting for someone to tell me this is stupid, and she will catch a cold. But it doesn’t feel stupid. It feels wonderful!
It is also sweet to witness her trust that allows her to relax into this space. She moves towards the sandy shore – and comes back in. she doesn’t want to leave yet. I don’t know if I want to either.
Life feels so simple in this moment. We can be here as long as we want, until we want to leave – as long as she doesn’t get too cold. And when we want to leave, we can. I want to carry that with me…
With love, S.