Friday, June 29, 2007

A Lake, a Dog, a Cool Breeze


It was a lovely evening. The last two days have cooled off considerably. "Nice sleeping weather" is what they say around here. So tonight we packed up the dog in the car and drove to one of the nearby city lakes.


My husband stopped to get a cigar. For some reason, he likes to smoke a cigar while he's walking around the lake. Then we walked a few blocks down, past the big houses with bikes instead of cars in front, and past the small front yards filled with flowers, and past the end of the month moving vans.


The lake front has been tailored for traffic. There are two paths, one for walking and running, and one for bikers and rollerbladers. Whenever I go to this particular lake, I start feeling very nostalgic, pining away for my young adult days, when the future with endless possibilities was spread before me. I got nostalgic for picking up an Utne Reader at Orr Books (now out of business) and taking it down to the beach to read. I got nostalgic for Morris and Christie's Market, where I would stop for some kind of funkie juice drink. I fondly remembered the time a guy tried to use his two cute daughters to pick me up. (I was so young and single then!) This particular lake reminds me of being young, and adventurous and just a little counter-cultural, harboring heretical thoughts. Makes me wonder what others are nostalgic about, what places, people, smells or sounds.


Walking around, I noticed the earnest runners in their bright orange shorts, the women whispering and laughing, families with little kids in strollers, or backpacks or arms. I noticed families of all nationalities, wearing varieties of bright colors. I noticed synchonized rollerbladers, skating to unheard music. For the most part, people were smiling.


We stopped at the Pavilion to get something to eat, stood in a long but friendly line, where Scout made many friends and obtained admirers. A young dad and his little boy oohed and aahed. A Bernese Mountain Dog sniffed Scout and Scout sniffed back. A little girl absently patted Scout's head. She loved it all, played to the crowd.


We ran into Newest Parents from church, and their 2 1/2 week old daughter. She's beautiful. I'm a little prejudiced. I got to hold her when she was 1 day old. They are filled with gratitude for this gift in their lives.


I'm not old, but I'm not young any more. Going to the lake doesn't feel the same as it did once. But somehow, maybe for different reasons, it still pulls me -- to find respite, to find a sanctuary, to find hope.


10 comments:

Katherine E. said...

Lovely post, Diane. Good start to my Saturday morning.

mompriest said...

I used to live on Lake Michigan. In fact most of the 35 years I've lived in the Chicago area I've near the lake. But now in the far suburbs I live near a small human-made lake that doesn't allows dogs on the asphalt path. sigh. sigh.

I can see, feel, and smell what you write.

I have a Mary Oliver poem I'm going to post, hopefully later today. I've read lots in the last few days looking for one that speaks to me. Sharon Olds, LInda Paston, and Oliver. The one I want to post has an intersting structure that may not hold in the translation to a blog. We'll see. I'll let you know when it's up. Now, off to attend to Sat. errands and a sermon.

Jan said...

What a lovely walk you took us on. I can almost feel the breeze from walking around lakes I used to live by--Green Lake in Seattle and Lake Padden in Bellingham, WA. In August I'll be able to walk in the cooler weather.

Thank you for the glimpse!

Barbara B. said...

That's part of Minnesota's charm -- all those nice lakes! (And I just recently visited Lake Padden in Bellingham, Jan!)

Diane said...

I hope you took a picture, Barb.

Barbara B. said...

Didn't have my camera along at the time, so no picture! (We were mostly checking out the lake because that is where my daughter is taking a wind surfing class this summer!)

Serena said...

Oh I love this post ... While I was in Michigan ('01-'04) I enjoyed walking this lake too. (Big lakes of Michigan are second only to ocean and Pudget Sound where I am now :)) Thanks for this beautiful reflection.

kim said...

I know exactly the nostalgia you're talking about. I used to bike from my apartment in Richfield to Lake Nokomis, go around three or four times, bike Minnehaha Parkway over to Harriet, around a few times, then back on the Parkway over to Calhoun and Lake of the Isles. I would always bike in my one-piece bathing suit with a pair of shorts--mostly, I think because I secretly liked it when the stoners sitting on Stoner Hill at Nokomis would whistle as I rode by. This was a VERY long time ago--HA! On the one hand, oh to be 23 again; on the other hand, I sure wouldn't want to be 23 again!

Diane said...

oh, I hear you, Kim...

RevDrKate said...

Oh memories....Utne Readers and Morris and Christie's! Made me homesick for my past for a minute there. I moved to MPLS in the Mary Tyler Moore heydays....does that date me or what! Used to walk that same walk. Still have nostalgia for that MPLS. Thanks for a trip down memory lane.