Tuesday, June 1, 2010
another deja vu...
It was a year ago today that I sat on this same chair, looking at the same scenery, senses experiencing the same set of stimuli. The lake is silent. Calm. Flat. The sun just peaking over the trees on the other side making the water sparkle like perfectly cut diamonds. The only sound is the swans speaking with each other.
It’s obviously going to be another perfect day.
The rest of the household is still sleeping. There are no window treatments in the room I’m in, so I laid in bed last night watching the full moons reflection make it’s way across the black and blue water. It was too beautiful and serene to sleep. But I did; eventually.
To wake to this.
This calm. This peace. This beauty.
Sometimes when I’m at places that take my breath away; like the house I rented on the ski slope in Colorado, or the home deep in the Tennessee hills, or the beachfront property on Amelia Island. I wonder if the owners of these gracious vacation homes, or their neighbors, see it the same way I do. Do they see it’s perfect-ness? Or do they see it so often that they no longer feel the zen that perhaps it created for them on their first visit to the property.
My brother has lived here for seven years now. His intent when he purchased this particular piece of land on the lake was to build, sell and build again on the lot next door which he owned as well. It was about business. He wasn't building a home, he was building an invesment.There is a gorgeous large weeping willow tree between the two properties on the edge of the lake that he was going to have removed.
“It blocks the view. It’s got to go.” he told me one day.
“Uh. No, Charles. It raises the property value. It’s beautiful!” I desperately tried to convince him.
He was unwavering in his decision to remove the tree. Once Charles has made up his mind he may listen to other peoples input, but he usually follows what he has already planned out. But for once, my argument worked. He listened to me. He did not cut it down. It is a focal point on the lake. If out on a boat, you can see it from just about everywhere with my brothers house behind it. It's idealic. I’m sitting under this magnificent tree right now. He ended up staying in the house he built and sold the property next door.
His home is large. Three stories of large windows face the lake. It's built for entertaining, complete with infrared stereo system that extends all the way out to the water line. But his house is sparsely decorated. He is a widower of seventeen years. No ones quite been able to fill Terse's shoes. His home lacks a female touch. The kitchen would make a gourmet drool except that it doesn't have any cooking utensils. Things aren't put logically into the correct drawers or cabinets. Where the silverware should be, the drawer houses pads of paper and appliance manuals. The best spot for pots and pans holds small isualted coolers instead. The pans are located next to the fridge and the plates are where glassware should be and visa versa. Granted, he doesn't cook or use his kitchen much, so he doesn't think about these things.
Model homes tend to have more knick-knacks than his house does. I noticed a huge change on this visit. It's taken seven whole years, but on this visit he actually has artwork hanging on the walls. There is a beautiful large area rug in the living room and a tall copper pot with fronds. He's now decided that this house is indeed his home. The throw pillows gave it away.
Oh, and he now loves the tree. You’re welcome Mr. Willow.
We set off fireworks last evening. Normally when I come up we pass the signs on the highway touting ‘FIREWORKS! Easy off, Easy on’ but we keep on driving. Each driveby we comment that some day we should stop someday when we have more time. We’re usually in a rush to get there, or in a rush to get home…so stopping at the FIREWORKS store is not a priority.
Yesterday it was.
And we bought.
In Ohio it’s illegal to sell or set off fireworks. In Michigan they do sell them, but it’s still illegal to set them off. But on a private lake where there are always someone lighting the night sky with sparkly lights. We had Black Cat mortars which went extremely high and sent lovely colors in every direction. Ending with a sparkly, fizzily finish. A package of 12 tubes called Size doesn’t Matter that sent timed shots airborne that made us look like professional pyrotechnic operators.
But the most amazing thing we lit and sent off was floating lanterns. Not floating as in water floating, but floating as in air floating. A semi-opaque biodegradable three foot high coated tissue thin paper balloon of sorts with a black flammable square attached to the base. You can write messages on the side if you wish, light the base, wait a moment for the hot air to fill the balloon and up and away it goes.
It was beautiful. Starting out slowly at first and then when it reached the height above the tree line it took off. We lost sight of it about a mile or so away, but it was still up there. No losing altitude. Yet. I wonder where it will land. Who will find it. Who sat on their porches or decks last night pointing up at the night sky “What the hell is that, Mable?”
“I’m not sure Irving. Some sort of alien ship? “, she’d answer. “Git me another beer while yur up.”
We’ve let go many a helium balloon and watched them float away. Some on purpose, and some not. But nothing compared to the sight of this glowing orb floating up into the clear night sky. There was something peaceful and calming about watching it drift ever higher. Tilting this way and that in the gentle breeze.
I went online first thing this morning and bought a case of them. Whenever I feel the need for zen, I’m going to write my woes on the balloon, light it up and watch my cares disappear.
Not that I have many woes. Today is my birthday. Life is good, just like those T-shirts. And I’m sitting on the deck on the lake at my brothers house. Coffee in hand watching the lake come alive.
Just like last year. The zen is still here. I still see it. I still feel it.
As my daughter I said to me yesterday, “It’s all in how you look at it, Mommy.”
Yup. She’s got that right. I asked my brother what he saw when he looks out over the lake on which he lives. He likes it here, but he's just too damn busy. He doesn’t get to spend all that much time on it. He doesn’t savor it’s beauty as often as he’d like. He doesn’t take the time to sit here under the willow and listen to the signs of life around the lake.
So I’m savoring it for him while everyone still sleeps.
I love this time of day. I love this tree. I love this lake. I even love that water skier because he is has made my déjà vu complete.
It’s good to be alive. Even though after today I might have to start lying about my age.
Footnote: Many people have asked about the sky lanterns and where to purchase them (or see them!). There are a few places that sell them, but this is the one that we sent off and it worked great. Just check here to send you to their link!