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The Lake as a Gift.

The season of gift giving is upon us, so it seems appropriate to think a bit about the kind of gift Prospect Lake is and the kinds of gifts it offers. Marsh Pond and Smiley’s Pond too -- the gifts from all three of Egremont’s bodies of water. Gifts that come wrapped in summer green or autumn blaze or winter white.

Photo courtesy of the family of Chuck Houghton

For one thing, there is an aura of peace about them … indeed, an aura of peace about water, about bodies of water in general. They seem to engender a stillness in us, a restfulness. They seem to quiet us down. Just staring at the water, sitting/reading beside it, perhaps dozing a bit in a beach chair … time with water fosters a time of soft silence, mulling, thinking long thoughts. Without fail, guests to a lakeside house remark on the view, a soothing, beautiful scene right outside the windows.

It is, of course, a scientific fact – professionally journaled, peer reviewed – that this phenomenon is due to the fact that we all spend our first nine months (+/-) in water. (OK, amniotic fluid.) Maybe we really do go back to those liquid days in the presence of still waters.

That’s not to say that water doesn’t also generate excitement: the screams and shouts of kids on a mid-lake raft paint a different picture, one of fun and exuberance brought on by the availability of an all-encompassing environment that you can get pushed into, plunge into yourself, splash at others, float upon, enjoy in a dozen ways.

Another gift is the joy of fishing, trolling the depths, hooking fauna that are promptly tossed back to swim another day or taken home for supper. While swimming and boating are seasonal, the pleasures of fishing come year round: in summer heat, autumn nip, spring freshness, and winter ice.

All these are the gifts that lakes and ponds make to us humans. Think too of their gifts to other kinds of life – the critters that live in or around them and depend on them. For food, for drink, for safety, for shelter.

Waterbodies are one big gift to all. And to all … HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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