IMG_8049With toes hung over the edge, I raise my arms above my head and close my eyes. I count one, two, three and then…I freeze. I release my arms into their resting place. I take a look around. Far out on my left are a couple of loons, peacefully fishing for lunch. To my right are my siblings building a sand castle and inside my chest is a beating drum.

I think about how the loons. About how they always have someone to swim with as I gulp down a mouthful of lake air. I close my eyes. Three, two, one. With a quick dip of my knees, I propel myself forward into the water. Coolness rushing over the top of my head and down my spine. The lake traces my spine, my calves and the bottom of my feet. It’s my first swim of the season.

The countdown is over, living has begun. Summer is innocence and deep exploration. It is diving to the bottom and coming back up, reeling in the big one and letting out line. It is swimming in pairs and feeling resuscitated. It is moments that take your breath away and moments that last a lifetime. Whether you are indulging in an annual tradition or trying something out for the first time, summer begs us to go inwards and shed not only city skin, but also limitations. It’s time to loosen the parameters on what we eat and what time we go to bed. It’s about crawling into a sleeping bag with a clear head and the knowing that you did it.

Entering our first full summer at Jessica Lake summertime is a chance to ignite fires and senses. It is time to care less about our outer appearance more about the feelings we get being in nature. It’s the trail that leads back to our childhood; time where we didn’t care about what being brave or getting dirty. Times when working out meant hiking and swimming, and running up and down hills. It’s reconnecting with friends and time spent in a lawn chair, beneath the stars, and on the lake.

This weekend as you set off fireworks or listen to the sounds of those coming from your neighbours, take a moment to remember your first fish. Or the first time you realized you knew how to roast a marshmallow. Over hot coals rather than a burning flame. Take a moment to follow a trail that leads back to your childhood when you were free.

Whether you’re here with us at the Lodge this weekend or at your own favourite spot. Whether you’re invited guests at a friends cabin or day tripping around our beautiful province, may you be filled with innocence and everything that brings you joy.

Happy July 1st long weekend – it is truly an honour to be a Canadian.

About the author