On that miserable rainy Sunday there were two of us at the lake. A man who was fishing in his boat and I with my camera. Then a few days later I thought about the lakes I saw, where I stayed for a short time and vacationed. There weren’t many of them. Some I don’t remember, others are still with me.
I remember a big lake (I don’t remember its name anymore) where I was learning how to row. A boat was big and heavy and sometimes it was difficult to row; I had to take short breaks to rest. I didn’t enjoy much rowing and being in the boat. The only one who was excited about our adventure was my four years old daughter. She was overjoyed and happy being in this damn boat in the middle of the lake. Sometimes she was getting impatient and asking me to row more quickly. I tried. Unsuccessfully.
I remember this lake so clearly. I remember how I washed my little daughter’s hair with shampoo in the lake and they were so silky from the softest water on the Earth. I also did our laundry there and let them dry on the grass. It was a summer vacation filled with little adventures like rowing, riding a rented bike to the small village store, learning how to cook with women in the big kitchen with many stoves, listening to the great stories in the evening and wishing that days would not fly so quickly.
Many years after I saw another lake. It was a different country, different world, I was adjusting to my new life. The lake had the strange name “Bear Lake”. Apparently, there were a lot of bears in the area and when the Canadian fur trader and explorer Donald Mackenzie saw this lake he named it “Black Bear Lake”. In time the word “black” was dropped and the name of the lake became simpler and shorter.
The Bear Lake became the lake where three of us – my husband, our dog Shady and I – could spend a few days in the summer. We liked the lake’s vastness; its intense turquoise-blue color. We enjoyed swimming. Only Shady wasn’t happy, he was always hiding underneath of canvas chair patiently waiting when we would return back to our campsite.