There is a lake in the foothills on the east side of the Cascades that is almost too small to even be called a lake. It’s more of a pond, really, or a big puddle if you wanna be a dick about it.
It sits in a little meadow all by itself, five miles up a horse trail about twenty minutes south of Bend, Oregon. This time of year, when the bugs are starting to die down and the mornings are getting cold, it’s a perfect place to spend the night under a dark sky so full of stars they cease to be individual points and become a swirl like the static between stations. This little lake might be my favorite place on earth. Thus far, anyway.
Often, in the late afternoon on summer days, I will feel myself overcome with restlessness and find it impossible to get comfortable. I find myself drawn to the door, compelled to go outside and stay there, to close my eyes and taste the air with my senses like an animal and go where they tell me. It is in those times that I will throw some things in a backpack and head for my lake. To sit on the ground somewhere high where the air is thin and feel the world struggle to keep its grip on me.
This is how I placate my mind. Without the peace I find out in the wilderness I wouldn’t be able to engage in the only other activity that allows me to maintain a veneer of sanity. Without these increasingly frequent overnight trips, I wouldn’t be able to sit still long enough to write.
What is your lake?
Do you have a place that recharges you?
Is it as dumb and cliched as mine? It’s cool if it is.