Sitting on a bench in the woods, overlooking Lake Genevieve.
I’m in Park Lyndon South, just minutes from my house. A couple of hours walking the dirt trails and breathing.
It’s beautiful. Peaceful. Crickets chirping and insects buzzing. A few Canadian Geese fly overhead, honking their way past.
Old wooden steps to my right lead 10 yards down through the brush to the lake edge – old railroad ties that look like they’ve been here as many decades as this wooden bench has.
I smell the air. A deep breath. It’s perfect. I take the 10 or 15 paces down to the lake, pushing through some overgrown ferns and branches. As I step off the bottom step and onto the shore right at water’s edge, a tiny -adorable- squeak of alarm sounds, and a couple dozen tiny frogs (toads?) jump off lily pads into the water. Despite the warning of their Guard Frog, many of them pop back up into nearby logs or lily pads, and watch me… I feel judged.
I stand at the shore for a minute, listening. Birds and crickets and the wind through the trees. Susurrus. A beautiful word, susurrus. It means a whispering, a murmuring, a rustling. A great word for the sound of standing by a quiet lake in the middle of the forest.
A mosquito buzzes my ear. I take it as a reminder: “My friends and I are going to make you wish you’d brought bug spray and left 15 minutes earlier, pal.”
I stay anyway, returning to my bench for a few more minutes. Breathing. Listening. I take a couple pictures. Reluctantly, I leave my bench and head down the path.
But, a few minutes later along the trail…. What’s this? A path leading to another part of the lake? With a little wooden dock?
I’ll go home, sure. But, before that… a couple more minutes of this.