Castle Lake

“If we had Cell Phone Service….. DAD! We could call him!” She’s teenage. And petulant, obviously, lazily wading in the cooling waters of the delightful little lake.

“There are some things that are better than cell phone service.”

I can’t help myself, but let out a hearty guffaw at Dad’s quip. He grins at me. She glares.

I want to join in the conversation. Tell the bored teen that she’s lucky to be here with no cell service, but realize that she probably wouldn’t get it. Obviously communication to ‘him’ was more important than the natural beauty of this charming little lake. Its surface smooth and glassy. The shores lined with steep little hills of granite rising to the hot blue afternoon sky.

I’ve just finished my swim, and am now perched on a slippery hot rock as I await Ian’s return from our swim to the center of Castle Lake. After swimming through the smooth crisp water, we’d rested on a Big Granite rock, gazing at turquoise dragonflies flitting in and out of the clear clear water.
Usually, I am leery of lake swimming. What the hell is under there? In the murk? A giant tree, fallen and rotting, soft and creepy? Or a series of sharp rocks, jutting up unexpectedly to scratch my tender knees. Or a wily mountain monster, lurking behind that fallen tree, ready to reach out and snatch me with its lethal claws, then popping me into its giant toothy mouth, swallowing me whole before I’ve a chance to climb Mt. Shasta.

Not like that was gonna happen, but my imagination does run amok when lake swimming. So there is a bit of anxiety in the endeavor, but today, with the heat on the rise, and after our tromp through the brambles (“Ian! Can you hold up a minute? I don’t want to climb down there!" "But look, Honey, there’s shade down here! And we can be away from all the people and….”), I’m ready to jump in.

So, when Cell Phone Bereft Girl whines, I just laugh. If she only knew just how lucky she was. And how stupid cell phones are! Why, only a few short years ago, they were a rarity. And today, if you don’t have one, and you’re not talking or texting on it, or taking pictures with it, or checking your email on it or tweeting Kim Kardashian on it, well, you are so OUT OF IT!
I love being out of it!

And on this day, a perfect one for this little lake swim, I grin and grin and grin. The air is too hot, but it’s still and heavy. And the swim was pure magic: my arms slicing through the clean smooth surface of the water. Sure there were unknowns below the brown murk, but hell, it was worth the risk to glide out to that big rock, and climb up its slimy surface to rest from the cold wet waters.
“Dad! Like what is better?” she whines again.
“Oh, now, you’re just being difficult.” He sighs, smiling in a spacey heaterized way. She shrugs, ducks her head into the water, goggles on, searching for what?
A cell phone?
A monster?
Who knows?

All I know is that this day, on this lake, with the air and the water and the dragonflies, I’m happy. Blissfully so.
And I don’t use that term lightly. As anyone who knows me knows.

“You ready to leave?” Ian’s back, huffing and balancing as he climbs out of the cool waters.
“Nah, not yet. Maybe a snack?”
“Sure,” he nods, shaking himself like a happy wet dog. “We have some little sandwiches and some carrots and….”
“Cookies?” I grin.
He laughs, “Of course.”

And he heads up the sandy little beach toward our shady little spot to retrieve the Oreo Heads & Tails double Stuffs. I follow, weaving slightly, her echoes in the background…..

“Daaaad! I neeed…..”

Should I offer her a cookie, I wonder? Is that better than a cell phone? I think so, but then again, I know I’m in the minority. Best to let her whine till she runs out of breath….

Or till her whining calls up the Castle Lake Monster. He'll gobble her up, spit her out, and swim lazily away, leaving us all in peace to enjoy the magical splendor of this sweet little lake.


Ruth Jameson said…
I really think that the Monster is waiting for that whiny little girl to get near enough so he can grab the cell phone...because you he is a CELL MADE MONSTER!

Cj said…
Yes, could be. She better watch out! Thanks for reading, as always, Gilda!

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