Real, Imagined and Otherwise

For me there is very little as exhilirating as turning a wooded corner to find a body of water; a perfect eye reflecting the blue sky after a long walk.  There is just something about lakes.  They are to me not only the epitome of beauty and tranquility but also keepers of secrets and deep mysteries.  Gaze into their clear depths on a hot Summer day and you will see layers of story and history.

When we were children, my sister and I used to spend every Summer weekend at a lake.  It was a large body of gray green water just outside the city, skirted by bulrushes and weeping willows.  It was no where near as pristine or as picture perfect as the Canadian lakes I now fall into nor as remote or hard to get to.  Yet it was our lake.  Our idyllic getaway in what my sister and I liked to think of as ‘the country’.

We grew up swimming and windsurfing and one of our favourite activities was diving for treasure.   The bottom of that lake was strewn with rocks and submersed weeds so we had to ‘hide’ the treasure we hoped to find.  We used to throw marbles in and pretend they were nuggets of gold! As the years went by and my taste in reading material changed from fairy tales to real life mysteries, our expeditions became forensic dives; a fruitless quest for underwater clues.

This is probably why I find it impossible to sit by a lake without wondering if there is a car at the bottom of it or the skeletal remains of fur trapper or a woman spurned by her lover…macabre, I know.

What truly surprises me is how, despite having grown up in a haunted house, we did not believe in lake monsters.  We never hesitated, like our youngest son does, on the water’s edge.  (He is convinced he had an encounter with a snake-like monster in a lake not far from Radium Hot Springs).  Some people look at bodies of water and see danger.  Real, imagined and otherwise.

Photo:  Y McAdam

Photo: Y McAdam

I watched a program recently on Bigfoot ‘hunters’ and what stayed with me was not their unwavering belief in an elusive, ape-like creature but how in this day and age of spy satellites and infrared cameras there are still pockets of unexplored wilderness.

I like living with a few mysteries, don’t you?

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22 thoughts on “Real, Imagined and Otherwise

  1. Yolanda after reading this I was inspired to write. It is written so well and I could see you diving for treasures in murky depths of the lake. Old memories fade but we can keep them fresh by writing about them. We can also use pieces of them in our stories too.

  2. I suppose this is why you are a writer and I am not …….. I love bodies of water too, especially when it is just me and the place. But my eyes and my thoughts skitter across the surface to what lies beyond, never to what lies beneath. Although sometimes too I ponder on the weight of water…….. 🙂

    • Thank you Pauline. I am just too inquisitive! but I do understand the need to wonder what lies beyond.. I published this post in error and am thinking of posting my 2nd draft as this post was incomplete..

  3. I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one who wonders who or what is at the bottom of lakes. 🙂
    Although I love lakes, I’ve always been afraid to swim in water where I can seek what’s lurking around me. 🙂
    I figured WP had some issues last night. I tried to comment on this post, and then is disappeared. I thought your computer fell into the lake. 🙂
    Great post, Yolanda!

  4. Mostly I swam in a community pool with chlorine water or at the beach. At the beach it was always a little scary because jellyfish and crabs would wash up on the shore. I was pinched by a crab once. Now I only go in with water shoes on! Guess I’m not an adventurer.

    • Ah yes the community pool. We were there on the week days. Both my sister and I were string swimmers. Me, not so much anymore. I like to think we are all adventurers and risk takers just in different ways Kate 🙂

  5. Still waters run deep, Yolanda 😀 I love being near or on a lake (not so much ‘in’ because I’m not a strong swimmer). What treasures (or horrors) lay beneath water has always fascinated me 😉

  6. I love your view of lakes, with their layers of mystery Yolanda. It was always the sea for us growing up – no real lakes anywhere nearby, but then the sea has its own mysteries. Isn’t it great that we still have some mysteries that may never be proven – there is still magic in the world 🙂

  7. Bodies of water..”the epitome of beauty and tranquility but also keepers of secrets and deep mysteries.” Aah, beautifully written. And I absolutely love them too (with or without skeletons in it)

  8. I am always drawn to caves – those on the rocky outcrops or inlets of our West Country coastline. They make me think of Pirates, smugglers and stories of derring-do. Or fugitives, hiding out …

    • Ah yes!! Caves. Especially like you say those along the coastlines. I find the inland and mountain caves more intimidating. I once ventured down a hole that turned into a bat-infested cave.

  9. Yes, I do! And I love lakes. One of my lake poems in Doll God, by the way, is about something hidden inside the lake “where I expect / a key to rise up from its resting place.” Your post is exactly how I feel about lakes!!!

  10. Hi Yolanda! There truly is something so mystical and magical about being by or on a lake. I grew up spending family holidays on a body of lakes and inlets called The Norfolk Broads in England and my imagination went into overload at all the stories I imagined, fuelled by the local ghost books I devoured at the time. I love the way your mind works. For me, it was always sunken villages lying silently far below the waters that gets me thinking of all kinds of stories. We have a reservoir near here that hubby tells me was created when an entire village was flooded.

  11. Hi Yolanda,
    I came by to thank you for liking my post 8 important blogging tips bloggers need to remember, and then I found the post in your sidebar under “Blog Posts I Like”. Thank you! I publish blogging tips like this regularly. If you like articles like this, I’d love to have your readership.
    Janice

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