It is a place that quiets my soul and awakens creativity. Over the years my friend has had a cottage along the shores of Rocky Lake I have looked forward to my opportunities to go up and breath in the beauty of the surroundings.
After a long days journey north I often race the sun as it falls toward the horizon hoping to see its red globe before it falls beyond the far shore of that watery expanse. Watching the ever changing surface of the water or the vibrant reds, yellows and oranges, the softer pinks and violets lighting the sky as the sun finds the horizon can still the loudest inner dialogues. For those moments my heart leaps into the sky and flies toward the sweep of colours.
My friend clears away the wood he stores in the sunroom for those jobs he is doing to work on his place. He shakes out a tarp draping it across the light would floors so that I have a place to paint while looking out into the birch and pine with the snarled ground cover filling my vision with curves and lines that inspire my senses. Even when I come back to the city I still find that inspiration affecting my thoughts when I free paint.
Then there are the seasons.
Even the mosquitoes can’t hold us in in the summer. In summers like this where the mosquitoes make it difficult to enjoy time on shore, riding out in a canoe gives the respite and opens up a new landscape of reeds and water flowers floating up from a bed of waving water plants inhabited by skittering schools of tiny fish or the flashing bubbles of water insects. Bass, pickerel and jack undulate below the quiet tinted glass of the water’s surface. The ever changing inukshuks, the beaver house and the rarity of an eagle siting as it drinks a few paddle strides from where we pass colour each trip in memories. It is worth the moments of anxiety I haven’t gotten past as I step from solid ground making sure I stay low and keep my feet to the center of the canoe.
Other years, I have traipsed among the trees and stones, studied the natural plants and the waves lapping against the shore, exhilarated when the winds crashed the water against the rocks or high tides created underground gardens along the shore.
I have enjoyed the autumns oranges and golds or the hazy horizon muting the midnight blues of twilight with an edge of mystery. My friend has a fire pit out front where we can sit on the bench and roast hodogs or smokies for supper and just sit enjoying the fading light as the flames crackle among the charring wood.
In winter the snow cloaks the lake leaving us free to walk out on the ice and view the frozen waves left high on the shore. Gathering around the drill cut holes neighbours visit as they wait for the nibble on their lines. One year we walked out to the break in the ice where the depth and pressure had been so great that it folded up on itself in chunky waves of shimmering blue.
In spring, the chill holds the insects at bay as snow crackles and fades leaving patches for the birds coming home for summer. I have only one memory of that season as the snow changed formation along the shore and the birds took up residence. Winter’s hold end in a way I have never experienced in the city.
As in so much of my life, there is a need of balance. I am a city girl. I love the availability of places to go and activities to be involved with. Rocky Lake balances, for me, the inner need for quiet and contemplation. Each time I go there, I carry a part of it home in my memories to refresh me and give analogies to the streams of traffics and the rising shapes that form a part of my day to day life until once more I can find my way to that quiet space and the friend who makes space for me to feel at home when I am there.