The Cabin or the Lake?
During the summer, when we spend time at our cabin by the lake, I sometimes wonder which I love best - the cabin or the lake. After his retirement, my grandfather built the cabin around a two-sided brick fireplace, the only thing left standing from the former house by the lake.
After his retirement, my grandfather built the cabin around a two-sided brick fireplace, the only thing left standing from the former house by the lake.
The cabin is a simple structure, just one large rectangular room with the kitchen and dining area at the fireplace end, the living area in the center and two large beds arranged side by side at the other end. It has a front door and back door, both of which lead to identical covered porches, one of which overlooks the lake.
There’s something deeply satisfying about padding onto the concrete porch in the early morning with a cup of coffee in hand. As I look out at the lake, I’m reminded of all the other good mornings I’ve spent there, and I feel a great sense of joy that there are more to come.
It’s true that much has changed over the years at the cabin by the lake. Lightning struck and killed the old walnut tree where we used to swing on an old truck tire, and the hands that strung the rope over the stout branch and pushed us so high that we squealed in delight─ those hands are gone as well.
But some essential things remain the same. Whoever sleeps in the center of the old rope bed will get squashed by those on either side. And when the dog has his bath in the washtub on the porch, it’s likely that a frog will hop in. There are many frogs at the lake (probably more frogs than fish). Late at night, there’s always a slight chill in the air, and in the morning, a light fog invariably drifts across the water. And at the height of summer by the lake, the scent of lilacs and honeysuckle and water mix and meld, as inseparable in my mind as memory and happiness and hope, as inextricably linked as cabins and lakes.
I could not choose between them.