Thursday, October 27, 2011


On the outskirts of town there is a reservoir -- a many-fingered lake popular with the locals for boating, fishing, hiking. There was a lake like this near my hometown growing up, and now there's this one near my current, adopted hometown, three states away.

The similarities between the two are striking, although maybe less so when you learn that both lakes are man-made, created in the past 50 years or so. When we drive on a long, low bridge across an arm of water, it would be hard for me to tell you whether we were crossing the waters of my childhood or of my now. I guess the woods around this one are almost never blanketed in snow. Around that one the land is hillier and there's a slope cleared perfectly for sledding, despite the unavoidable, icy stream at the bottom.

Both lakes were created in rural areas, but that doesn't mean the land was uninhabited before. Small roads disappear into the waters of each. My brother and I would follow our dad down the gentle slope of such a road into the water with our fishing rods -- the macadam underfoot (and underwater) still new-seeming and almost untouched by mud or algae. One terribly dry year we paced the rocky foundation of an old farmhouse that had previously stood just off the road, but now was usually hidden well out underwater.

Tonight, as my wife and I drive onto a bridge across our local lake, she points to a parallel road disappearing into the water:

autumn dusk --
seagulls line the road
right into the shallows

No comments:

Post a Comment