Early Sunday morning and the lake was all fog. One struggled to see a solid object, but the lake was a white haze. The facing island had vanished, and out on the water it seemed that there was nothing. Many people found this nothingness to be haunting, disorienting, something one hoped would lift and go away. During all of the years in this place, I had learned that this blankness was a friend, because it gave the possibility for the mind to rest and become fertile for own new thoughts.
An hour later, a motor boat headed out for the islands broke the silence and the evenness. Nothing had become something and had started to lift here and there. A pair of Canada geese flew low over the water, the tips of their wings skimming the surface to awaken the sleeping giant. The weeping birch branches swayed over the water as the dance of the day proper began.
Now the lake was patterns in the mid-morning sun. The birds in the trees chirped with excitement in a thousand voices. One heard the motor boats in the distance, darting between the islands, transporting and preparing for the life of summer. The garden furniture at the dock was still inhabited by the ghost of winter – empty, unarranged and quiet. Yet, soon, it too would join the carnival at the water.
It is wonderful to see a receptive mind discover the water for the first time. Ellie the dog cocked her floppy ears as the waves reached out to her at the shore. “Here we are, come and meet us, little pup,” they whispered. Ellie barked, since dogs don’t whisper, then crouched down and lapped mischievously at the incoming tide with her tongue, inviting the water to play. There was something about the water that was magical, frightening, alluring and original to us, all at the same time. We’d come from it, consisted mostly of it, and could never get enough of its shimmering surface.
I sat on a tree stump and shut my eyes. Ellie crept into my lap, exhausted from playing with the waves, which never seemed to give up. Her small pup’s body was soft and warm in the sun, which had consumed the fog and revealed the lake. Then I wished I could sit here forever, in the company of evenness and truth. Here there was no need to be strategic, make progress or achieve. Everything by its very nature, was already in its highest form. Yet, it took silence, fog and nothing to know and appreciate the essence of things. I wished more of it for more of us.
Learn more about Julie Lindahl’s prize-winning new book, “Rose in the Sand,” a memoir of a decade lived on a Swedish island. Order it now from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk , Author House, authorhouse.co.uk and many other online bookstores, including major Swedish online bookstores such as bokia.se and adlibris.se. Learn more about Julie’s other books and activities at www.julielindahl.com.