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“Hello,” she whispered over my shoulder and I turned my head slightly.

“Long time no see,” I replied with sullen entitlement.

“I know you’ve been waiting for me and I’m sorry. But I’m here now.”

She was right. I had been waiting.

I turned around to meet her as joy filled up each one of my cells, tiny air bubbles coming out of my gills.

Summer had arrived.

Life lived at the lake is a completely different kind of life. Until now, it has been a summer of bon fires and constellations. It has been cabin crafts and deep inhalations. Life lived at the lake means there is no mangy cat skulking around. No skeletal map of city streets, no concern for too much of anything. Life at the lake is void of a schedule. There are no parking lot, no electricity running through my brain, no concrete to be found. There is only peace, which comes in the form of slow moving caterpillars, breast strokes and dropped lines. Rain is the reset button, the night sky my compass.

That is until now. Why, just this very morning, prairie folk emerged from their cabins looking as though they’ve arrived somewhere they’ve never been before. Sun block on their hearty faces, life vests in their hands. They’ve packed up their watermelons and beer cans, their tire tubes and mini vans. Suddenly life at the lake means cannon balls and who knows when. It is making the most of every minute and tips up, shouting ‘Hit it!’. It is flip flops and tank tops, hot dogs and corn on the cob.

With summer back in town, lake life is even more desirable. The birds are louder, the fish more feisty and the meals more tasty. Suddenly gatherings take place dockside as people crowd around to dip toes and bottoms into the sand. Blankets are optional, ice cubes mandatory and every day is a vacation. Today I am thankful for the absence of winter and the resurgence of my long, lost friend. At this very moment, may you be lakeside, without a care in the world. May you have a rope tied to a floating cooler and a boat full of friends. May you know that work will wait and so too will fall.

John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

Happy Wednesday, make it sweet.

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