Treena Mielke – On The Other Side
Summer, with all its idle promises of long hot days where sunshine obligingly spills over everyone and everything and roses, wild and otherwise, bloom profusely and in abundance, is here.
I like summer.
Of course, it seems like it rains most of the summer and people are always saying, “I am so sick of this rain,” and then, surprise, surprise, it rains some more.
But, it is what it is, and, if one looks hard and long enough, there are always good things going on between the raindrops.
For me, it was the phone call from my son the other day.
“I’m taking the boat out, mom,” he said.
I immediately conjured up a vision of me skimming across the lake on my water skis, expertly weaving in and out of the wake miraculously almost, but not quite wiping out and everyone in the boat cheering and saying things like, “way to go mom, you rock”.
And I visualized myself, after a long and satisfying ski, during which I did not wipe out once, climbing back into the boat, all shaky and dripping wet, but still quietly pleased with myself.
“I’ll be there,” I said. And I was.
It turned out, however, my fantasy remained only that; a fantasy.
The lake, for all its stunning, shimmering beauty, looked like someone had taken an eggbeater to it, whipping the zillion harmless little waves to whitecap fury.
And so I, not being one to argue with such logic, did not ski. Instead, I sat safe and secure in the boat, quite content at not having to live up to my fantasy, after all.
I took pictures, instead.
I caught these three beautiful women with the lens of my camera. They were so lovely, and best of all, they were all right there, in the boat.
Click. Click. Click. Got ’em. Daughter, daughter in-law and granddaughter. All special. All beautiful. All on camera.
And then there was the man at the wheel, my son, who tried really hard to manoeuvre his boat to a place on the lake where the wind had somehow forgotten to blow.
He couldn’t, but in the end it really didn’t matter.
I snapped his photo, storing the picture on digital and, also in my mind, because, even though the wind was relentless, and the boat ride more than a little bumpy it truly was a memory keeper day.
And, who knows, summer, with all its intoxicating, heady beauty, has only just begun, and there may still be a day; a really nice hot summer day when I will get another phone call.
And, on that day; that really, nice hot summer day, the lake may be flat as glass, and I will gingerly lower myself off the boat into the freezing, giant ice cube some people call a lake, and struggle for about half an hour to slip my feet into the boots of the water skis (this is a realistic fantasy), and, after much threshing around in a very unladylike manner, grasp the end of the ski rope.
And then, finally, once I get my breath, I will lean back focusing my eyes on the blue, sky above me until the rope is taunt and the boat motor idling, but not too fast.
Then, I will say, “hit it.” Of course, nothing will happen because the driver won’t hear the words, so I will flounder about for a few minutes and then finally yell “hit it” again, but really loud. And this time the boat will roar into action, and I will be up and flying and when conscious thought returns to me I will think, “I love this. This is incredible. Wow.”
Then I will smile at the people in the boat, but they won’t be able to see the smile clearly because of the crystal clear wake splashing up between me and them.
But it doesn’t really matter.
It’s kind of like the sun shining between the raindrops. You don’t really have to see it to know it is there.