Life lessons taught by a lake

Jason Kane and Jason Kane

Lake Erie is a vast hole in the Earth, stretching 241 miles east to west and 57 miles south to north. It’s filled with trillions of gallons of fresh water. Along its shorelines are scattered beaches composed of sand, rock, wood and various debris items. In Northeast Ohio, along the lake’s coast, lies an immaculate beach. The beach is home to hundreds of seagulls, fish that swim armless beneath the water’s surface and human inhabitants with shelters nearby. However, it’s more than just a place, more than just a location on a map. It’s a spiritual dimension in which nature’s more mysterious beauties are expressed. Throughout the year, the lake’s conditions gradually change. A spirit taking on new form with each passing season, the lake fluctuates to the pulse of Mother’s beating heart, spontaneously and freely. Nearby inhabitants could learn from this change. They could take the lake’s adaptability as a guide by which to live. This impermanence the lake so honorably demonstrates allows the body of water to ride into the future free of clinging onto what’s left behind. If humans begin to understand this magical operation, perhaps they too could be granted the ability to live harmoniously with the ways of the world. During the summer months, the lake gets its most attention. The air is warm. The water is blue. The trees are lively and green. One could make a visit to the beach and relax for hours amid the fair weather, admiring the wave’s constant undulations as they crash ashore. But what most visitors fail to recognize is that a wondrous transformation is in its very process. As the days turn to weeks and as time moves forward, the lake refuses to be stagnant. With a new season approaching, the lake exists with open and welcoming arms as not a slave to the natural order, but as an agreeing participant. Fall is when temperatures begin to drop. Leaves from the trees change color and grow brittle and feelings of winter slowly creep from the North. By this time, although inhabitants have mostly ended their visits ,the lake remains a thriving natural body, in close accordance with the laws of the Earth. Soon thin layers of ice begin to harden, and winter will settle in for its long stay. As this transformation remains on course, the lake refuses to look back. It simply accepts the future as it unfolds without a care or worry in its long and expansive body. Again, humans could learn from this. For instance, as particular situations may be undesirable and of great nuisance, there’s hardly reason to fret. Soon enough, the conditions will gradually shift and things will change. Like the lake changing from one season to the next, humans could ride the wave of life being assured of its ongoing impermanence. In the heart of winter, all is white. Looking across the frozen waters of the lake’s surface, inhabitants could witness the enigmatic barrenness of the scene. Perhaps they could relate this current state to the one they long ago perceived and cherished during summer. If, during the visit, they begin to understand how this drastic transformation came to be, perhaps they could apply it to their individual lives and live more closely to the natural world’s underlying order. Following the long and cold months of winter, hope begins to appear from the darkness. Wildlife awakens and leaves slowly begin to sprout from tree branches. As the spring season arrives, temperatures grow warmer and snow turns to slush – more wondrous transformation to be admired. Spring affords nature the chance to rejuvenate and start anew. In full and persistent force, the might of spring takes its course, ultimately re-beginning the cycle of the seasons openly and freely.