North America is under a heat wave today. Everyone is retreating to shady spots or cooling off in one of the lakes and rivers. It’s been a long time since I was able to spend all day in Summerville Lake. On days like today I wouldn’t spend any more time on the surface than was needed to take the next breath. There was no scuba gear and very seldom did we even use snorkels. We were skin divers. When it’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32C) there’s nothing like the cool lake bottom. I could only go down about 10 feet or so but that was enough to escape being baked in the sun. I was one of those people who could open his eyes under water and still see pretty well. Occasionally I would find an old fishing lure with the hooks rusted away or a water toy of some kind that was left behind. Out beyond the buoys that marked the swimming area the boats would idle by. Under water the screws make a clicking noise and I got to a point where I could listen to the clicks and gauge how far away the boat was. As I got older I would swim from one side of the lake to the other once more surfacing only to take a breath. Sometimes a small fish would be curious about the stranger in the water and nip the hair on my legs. We would tease each other that the piranha were hungry. Perhaps at some point I can afford an underwater camera and I’ll be able to take you with me on a swim through the lake.
This one is the reflection of a cloud on Summersville Lake. I snapped the photo on a whim and it’s one of the first photos I ever took with a quality camera. What I like the most about this particular image is contrast in harmony. The cloud is a symbolic representation of the element of air floating on water. In order to get the image I had to point my lens away from the sky. The photo shows two forms of water in the same place at the same time. The cool blue-green color of the lake belies the near tropical weather we had the day I took the photo.
Nature loves balance. We tend to think of world in terms positive and negative depending on how something impacts our lives. Sometimes I like to think of these situations more in terms of ebb and flow. A balanced life will experience both sides of the equation. The old adage is that “in every life a little rain must fall.” I assure you that Summerville Lake is drained every year and that without a lot of rain there would be no peaceful days floating on that beautiful blue-green water. This is the simple concept that pulls me though the tough times. There will be a wonderful calm after the storm. Balance will eventually bring the nice things back around in my direction.
I think everyone has had that feeling that they just don’t fit in at some point. In fact I’d say it’s multiple points for most of us. The temptation is to forsake one’s individuality for sake of the crowd. But isn’t that lying? It’s one thing to be polite and respectful towards other opinions but it another thing altogether to fein total agreement. What’s more is that when the truth eventually comes out the others in the group will feel betrayed. A true friendship can handle some individualism and if it can’t then it was never a true friendship in the first place. It was only mimicry.
Being your own person is often difficult. There’s going to be conflict and in today’s world a large portion of population is under the misunderstanding that disagreement and hate are the same thing. They most certainly are not. God could have created a world of clones where everyone is exactly alike. Everyone would have the same opinions, the same ideas and the same looks. How boring would that be? There would also be no fresh ideas, no variety and no excitement. I’m starting to meander here so I’m just going to get to point. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Sure there’s going to be people who don’t accept you because they can’t handle anyone who doesn’t mirror them but do you really want to burden yourself with such a shallow person? Just be yourself.
What you do in life matters. Our actions and words create ripples that travel outward and interact with world around us. Try to make a splash in the world but make it a positive splash. Eventually, those tiny waves will rebound back to you.
When I was a kid I was fascinated by petroglyphs. Being of the Indiana Jones generation, I wanted to be the one who cracked the code and uncovered ancient secrets. I just knew that there had to be a golden idol at the bottom of a cave close by. I would study the markings on the cliff and I could even see the hunters stalking some strange dinosaur. (Left side of the image behind the small bush. ) This had to be a map! Right? There’s a pod of dolphins in the center. And strange symbols throughout the whole thing!
The unfortunate thing about gaining knowledge is the loss of the adventure. What we see here is pretty common in my area. Painted Sandstone. The stone was formed when different colored mud ( in laymen terms ) came together and mixed, then turned to stone. The result was these wonderful patterns in the canyon wall of Summersville Lake that resemble some prehistoric record. There’s other spots like this and even some real petroglyphs but I haven’t found one that is as realistic as the one here. If you find yourself in the Summerville Lake area the best way to see them is by boat.