Ahh… the waters. The restoring, regenerating, replenishing power of the waters. Nothing that I have found can quite renew my spirit the way that Lake Burton can. I’ve been wanting to write about the lake again for a while now, but, sometimes a post just needs to develop on it’s own. This has been one of those posts. You see, it has taken the unfolding of some personal events and a few national news stories for it to finally take shape and gel.
As you may know, a couple of weeks ago, my entire extended family got together for our annual week up at Lake Burton. One of my favorite outings of the year. Since each family seems to be all over the place these days with – commitments, obligations and responsibilities…travel, play and immediate family – it’s hard to find significant time for everyone to come together as a group. The Lake though. The Lake has the amazing ability to pull us all up there.
As long as I can remember, this place has been an absolute favorite of mine. Going back to my childhood, I have such wonderous and vivid memories of coming up here (occasionally with a good buddy in tow) and stomping through its woods or paddling across her waters for days on end. Everything was an exploration. An imaginative expedition. Now, even though I am older, the adventure still remains.
Let me back up a bit and explain what made this particular year an amazing standout experience. This time I wanted to try something new. Typically, we are wide open from sun up to sun down. 12 hours or so on the water, a Fat supper and then finish the evening with some good old fashioned hanging around the fire pit. We retire to what my wife and I refer to as the cave. A room with no windows. A wickedly comfortable bed. Heavy, heavy drapes over the french doors leading in. And, Cold, Cold, Cold. A perfect place to recharge. A place where I can comfortably sleep in at. This year though, I chose to make a point to wake up early and hit the water before the rest of the world came to. And, I was going to take a few kids with me. I’m so glad that I did. While the first morning came early, it was really cool to hear my youngest son asking, from the foot of my bed, if we could go yet. Instantly, I knew that this was going to be fun. And so we set out. Grabbed some gear. Two dogs. A quick bite and headed out into the dark.
The waters were at peace. We sliced through them with perfect ease. Totally invigorating. Then we slowed to check things out a little closer. Things neither of us had picked up on before. I could see him light up, intrigued by the mystery as we poked along, taking in the surroundings.
Such Cool Stuff, but, here’s where the real fun began. As we began to look at things more closely, we started to talk about dreams. And it got good. Over the coarse of our stay, all of the kids would come along. Sometimes two or three at a time. Sometimes individually. We would cruise the shorelines when all was still and study the homes. By looking at houses (or boat docks, or details) you get a sense of who they are. Of what they wanted to get out of life. You could see what excited them. I would point out a boat dock like this one and talk about the cool features to it.
My little one would totally disagree and lead me to the other side of the channel to this one.
“See, this one is much better. It has more stone, 4 boat slips, a jet ski lift, a jumping platform and a Hot Tub”. I didn’t even know that he had noticed this one before.
Here’s a house that he loves. (Yeah, it has 5 stories).
He’s kind of eclectic. We found this one while trolling through an ubscure cove.
Here’s my daughter’s.
Man, that girl has some style!
My oldest son can’t quite find his on the lake yet. Maybe that’s because it will more than likely be fashioned after the modest Tony Stark (Ironman) lair. I’m certainly going to have to hone my skills if I ever want a shot at building that one.
My wife and I have settled on this one.
Here’s the beauty of the story. As you look into your child’s eyes. As they scan the horizon. And you catch that gleam. That gleam of hope. Of desire. You know it. That “It” is what I am looking for. And, that “It” is what I will fight for. That is what will keep strong men and women, as well as this great nation, moving forward and rising up. As we appraoch this 4th, if you feel that there is no hope in our nation. Like this country is falling in a firey wreck. Look into the eyes of a child. There is so much hope in there and about these days to come. When you really think about it, with the degree of advancement that we are experiencing in today’s world, the level of opportunity has never been as high. We just need to ignore the background noise. So, when those folks say that the coming generations will never have it as good as their predecessors, don’t buy into it. The future is still so bright. You can find it in the eyes of a child. And, when you do find “It”, do everything in your power to make “It” happen.
I found it there.
I found it at the Lake in the early magical hours of the morning.
All My Bests,