The Elasticity of My Soul
The elasticity of my soul is remarkable. I have discovered my inner being has a unique flexibility that provides me the opportunity to regroup and adjust. My internal rubber band helps me cope with life’s hellos and goodbyes.
In early September, I replayed my summer sister tradition of many years. My older sister, Chris, owns a quintessential cabin on scenic Lake George in the Adirondacks. After my usual New Jersey beach vacation, I drove to upstate New York to spend a week with Chris and her dogs.
Like always, we ate hotdogs and French fries at the local Wind Chill establishment. We bobbed on the lake atop inflated tubes. Hours passed on the wide front porch as we soaked in the view.
Each night, the two of us turned in early and we fell asleep to a symphony of nocturnal sounds blowing through the open windows. Leaves rustling in the tall trees. Gentle waves patting the rocks along the shoreline. Insects saying goodnight to one another. So peaceful.
Of course, I kayaked.
As I hugged the shoreline in my craft, I scanned the blue sky for hawks flying high up above the cliffs of Anthony’s Nose. My paddle was in constant motion. The blades dipped in the clear water in a steady rhythm propelling my fluorescent kayak for many liquid miles. I never tired.
But this summer was different. It was the last year that I would be able to make this pilgrimage. My sister would be selling her Lake George summer cabin. The elasticity of my soul would be tested.
Alas, when Chris told me the news at the beginning of the summer, my five-year-old me wanted to throw a hissy fit in protest. How dare you! You can’t sell it. I always come. Secret selfish thoughts swirled in my head.
For many summers I looked forward to my hearty hello when I pulled into the gravel driveway. Chris came out to greet me as I unloaded my car full of baked goods and vegetables for our meals. After my visit, I gave my sister a deep hug and announced “See you next summer!”
But there will not be a next summer in Lake George for us. The finality loomed in the back of both of our minds this year. Sticking with tradition, we hit all of the usual high marks with an upbeat spirit. There was a trip to The Sagamore Resort for our annual lunch. Covid prevented our visit last year, so this one was particularly special.
We ate lunch outside as we admired the lake view. After lunch I insisted that Chris take one last picture of me with the three life-like bears that grace The Sagamore Resort lobby. As I bid my friends farewell, I stroked the back of each bear. Their fur felt soft on my fingers.
Moments of finality can be difficult for me. I prefer to just fade away. And so, the word goodbye stubbornly hangs in the back of my throat.
As I took my last solo walk up the roadway overlooking Lake George, I reminded myself that nothing is forever. It can’t be. After all, the trees along the lake say goodbye to their leaves in the fall. In the spring they say hello to new leaves. Docks are winterized and ice smothers the lake. As a result, goodbyes must be announced to boaters and swimmers. But, Memorial Day proclaims a hello to another summer season to Lake George dwellers and visitors. In the late fall, as the day light hours wane, insects stop singing and butterflies migrate.
There is a season for everything in the lake’s soul. And so, there must be seasons in my soul too.
Goodbye Lake George. You have given me so many wonderful memories. Each summer hello was a celebration. I must now accept my goodbye. For my goodbye would not have come without my hellos.
Next summer there will be a new hello. My sister has purchased a vacation home in Maine. She assures me there is a guest house waiting for me. There will be a beloved kayak to explore the nearby ocean cove. There will be lobster rolls and blueberry pies.
As I accept my Lake George goodbye, I remind myself to trust in the elasticity of my soul. I am grateful to my sister for my Lake George hellos and goodbyes. I am blessed to look forward to a new Maine hello. And so, I will be fine.