I moved into a neighborhood where everyone waves to each other. What a strange and bold act of kindness, I thought at first. After all, they have no idea who I am, and I don’t know them. This was new to me, as I came from a “keep to yourself” type of neighborhood. They can wave if they want, I decided, but I’m not going for that kind of friendliness. I only like to wave to people I know. Period.
Well, my attitude lasted about a week, and then I was raising my hand at everyone who drove down the street. Dog walks got longer and longer, as waves became greetings, became conversations and invitations. I slowly gained friendship with many, but it was a deeper feeling. My heart was at rest here. News was never gossip, because people truly cared for one another. This lake community felt like home to me, and many of the people would soon become family.
It has been said that the lake has magical powers; to calm and soothe the soul. Maybe that’s just what water does; taking your mind off the mundane. My whole being is relaxed as quickly as a dog shakes himself after getting out of the water. I just have to stare at the sun playing atop the lake, and I’m taken out of myself. No worries. People here bond so easily because of the shared love of this simple setting. We gather for cookouts and birthday parties with a quick phone call – no planning, no stress. Every day begins and ends as it is supposed to. It’s all about the here and now.
Over the years, our little community has shared family stories, left-over food, drinks and lazy weekend afternoons, while floating on our pontoon boats. We anchor in the middle of the lake, and wait for others to tie-up to share the sun; to share our stories. Sunset conversations string along as the sunlight weakens and the air cools. Drinks are poured and refilled, as we learn that someone’s granddaughter is going to visit, or someone is going on a trip. Someone has put their dog down. We connect through all that is said and unsaid, for sometimes the silence gives us a chance to absorb the emotion. Anchors are reluctantly drawn with the waning light, as bladders fill and stomachs grumble.
I wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. These shore-loving natives have shown me the right way to live; with openness and trust. This lake is a true home, a resting place for my heart. I will wave at people until my arm falls off, I’ve decided. I am now one of THEM – a foolish waver, who will welcome new lake people to this sanctuary. And, maybe I’ll look crazy and they won’t want to wave back. That’s Ok, there’s time. Because, I know, eventually, we’ll tie-up in the middle of the lake and share a sunset. It’ll happen.