I'm standing at the end of the pier. It feels new, even though we've been here nearly a week.
I used to stand here a lot, in years past. Before kids. Before so many kids.
I'd watch the water, thinking about nothing and noticing everything – the curious optical illusion created over a mostly still lake, where slight waves moved toward shore and away at the same time. I could search for the divide forever. Or I'd listen to hissing rain strike the surface like so many small silver bells. Or track the loon's progress across the bay.
Sometimes I'd sit here and read a book, lost in a story for hours.
I'd even roll out my yoga mat here, saluting the sun as it set, all pink and gold and purple, sliding out of the sky and into my heart.
But this year I've only come to pier's end a couple times – to check out a kid's fishing catch or help someone into the boat. I could have made more time to just be here. But I guess I kind of forgot.
Forgot how big the lake feels when I'm out over it without trees or shoreline telling the corners of my eyes that I'm on solid ground. Forgot how silent the world feels with only the sound of the wind whistling over my ears and the water slapping the sides of the fishing boat and the frogs gulping from the other side of the lake.
I can't believe how busy I've allowed myself to feel. Here, where our whole point is to do nothing.
My mind hasn't been still yet. Its been turning dutifully around worries and ideas, pushing hard against the fog of too-little sleep and scrambling with spinning wheels against resulting low moods.
And for a bit there, I couldn't stop thinking about my hair.
My thoughts were tangled in my own tresses, highlighted and growing out. I twisted my doubts around my fingers, stuck on right thing and brave enough.
But right now, I'm standing here at the end of the pier, that decision behind me. It's 10pm and really quiet with no kids shouting their joy to the world. A neighboring cabin-goer pulls into the drive, car headlights momentarily illuminating the lake. The scene looks like a photograph negative, all opposites. I can see stuff I shouldn't. My mind drifts over what I said.
Kim, I know you're not self conscious about your hair, but if it was me, I'd want one of my sisters to do this.
I took off my hat. Nervous that she'd be offended or weirded out or take it the wrong way.
But her hug told me she understood my point. That I'm saying I love you and I support you and you're beautiful and brave and I want to teach that to my children the way you're teaching yours and all the rest of us.
[I'm on the left. Hard to recognize?]
I'm so glad we have another week here. Another week to rest and watch the kids run and realize again that this place is home and therapy and heaven and common ground and a thread that ties us all together.
And this week, I'm promising myself to let go. Unknit my brows. Quiet my mind.
And stand here at the end of the pier. Even if it only happens at 10pm.