img_2520I am melting.

It is 34 freaking degrees Celcius at high noon, on a floating, wooden dock. Summer burns the fire. The dark water below opens its glittering mouth and I slither in, wannabe amphibian in a freshwater lake, sizzling in the cool.

The bottom rises up to embrace my form, tall grasses whisper and circle my arms and legs like the long, waving hair I spun as a child. Mud oozes between my toes and I lift off. Algae kisses everywhere. 

Was it the weed I ate, or is this all a dream?

There is less danger, there are no sharks or other predators in a mountain lake. In the crisp, murky water I grew up in, we roam far and we roam free. In or out of our bathing suit.


My friend F dives in and crawls ahead. With bushy hair and a hipster beard, he was drowning in sweat. I can feel the current shudder with his acute pleasure and relief. I plunge in, after him, breathing underwater; I was a fish in another life, another dream.

A  mournful cry soars.

F and I jump out of our reverie, our skin and turn to face-

A noble, aquatic bird, sitting on the surface of the water, fifteen feet away.

I am a loon, she says, spreading her glorious wings.

F and I tread water and gawk. We can’t believe our eyes. We can’t believe this wild creature has graced us. From the shadowy depths, an aristocrat.

A cry spirals out of her throat and soars over the lapping waves. Its piercing soul grows my heart and thrills the air.

Who are you? she wails.

F turns to me for an answer, but I can’t find the words. Instead, I convulse. I laugh and laugh, without a shred of reserve, I roar from the flooding gutter of my deepest depths, from a place beyond the brain I didn’t know before.

F cracks, he can’t resist the lure. He bursts forth, the mouth of the lake opens, and we all, we beasts, become a choir. 

Mountains ring. The lake is a starry sky. Without a thought in our heads, the mystery of life is ours.


30-SECOND LAKE MEDITATION: Put on your earbuds, press play…

Soundscape: Ned Bouhalassa

Video: Brenda Keesal

Special thanks to François, Eminé, Marino, Lac Renaud and our beloved Laurentian mountains, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, just outside Montreal.


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