I was pregnant with Hazel when we bought this house. Kevin, Eliza, and I were living in Montreal and a colleague of mine at McGill invited us up to his cottage on Lac Louisa one long weekend. We’d already been thinking about trying to find a place on the water somewhere—an aspiration that seemed achievable in Quebec in a way it never did in California—and when we passed the for sale sign on the way to my colleague’s house, we jumped out of the car and took a look around. By the end of the weekend, we’d made an offer.
Our first summer here Hazel was newly born. Now she’s 17. By lake standards, we’re newcomers, but by my standards, I’ve been coming here longer than nearly anywhere else. Now that we live in California, it’s a bit of a trek and there’s always a moment in the lead-up when I wonder why we do it to ourselves. But then I arrive, I see that lake, and I remember why. My body and mind immediately slow down and I basically spend however many weeks we’re here in a state of relaxation.
So much so that today I didn’t feel like doing anything besides unpacking a few boxes, reading my book, writing a little bit, and gazing in awe at the views. The day stretched long and I lingered in my laziness, not feeling at all like going for a vigorous swim. But finally, I stuck on my swimming cap, jumped in the lake, and did it.
I swam along the shore in the opposite direction of yesterday’s swim, passing by houses and docks that are filled with memories of summers gone by. I indulged in some nostalgia and cottage ogling, but mostly I just swam. It felt good to move my body, exercise my limbs, and ramp up my heartbeat from the slow and languid tempo of the rest of my day.
The water was mostly calm until some big boats came by and riled things up.
I swam to twin island and mooched around there for a bit, soaking in the beauty all around me. Then I swam back home.