Memorial Lake is a state park out past Grantville and the Fort Indiantown Gap. When you arrive, you can normally see people picnicking under a pavilion, runners working out at the fitness stations on the walking trails, and boats of fishermen casting lines into the glistening water. There’s a certain peace that envelopes you with the lake breeze. And, there’s a serenity and silence present, even though you may be sharing the view with fifty other people.

“There one might have sat the clock round lost in thought. Thought…had let its line down into the stream. It swayed, minute after minute, hither and thither among the reflections and the weeds, letting the water lift it and sink it until…the sudden conglomeration of an idea at the end of one’s line.” – Virginia Woolf

Now, I don’t have a fishing license, so I couldn’t fish, but even sitting next to the lake, dipping my toes in its crisp water, watching the minnows scatter around my feet as they sank into the murky bottom, I wasn’t bored. There were no distractions, no arguing, fighting, cruelty, hatred, or any of the other emotions that run rampant in the world, making it miserable for others. There was nothing separating me from the earth (I had taken off my shoes and socks) and feeling connected with nature and something bigger than the business of everyday life.

As the sun was setting and we despaired of catching any fish, there was platen of time to sit and talk about life and contemplate different events and the future.

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your heart. So you better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” – Sarah Dessen.

It’s moments of introspection when time is slow and you’re able to think clearly without worrying about emails, errands, or society’s expectations, that allow you to see how life is racing down the interstate and you’ve only just realized you’re behind the wheel.

You don’t have to go to a lake or participate in the active luring of fish to take a step back and really appreciate the world around you. You could take a stroll in your back yard or a local park, plant some flowers, or even just watch the sky with its rolling clouds and cerulean hue. Take an hour or so to think about something else other than the fact that you have work tomorrow or that you’re leaving for school in a few weeks or that the year is halfway over already. Enjoy that one moment of solitary peace for yourself, and breathe in the world around you (even though, if you’re at a lake, you could still be surrounded by fish who refuse to take the bait).

Published by Anne Long