Tears By The Lake


Another prompt from 365 Days Of Writing Prompts inspired today’s post. I find these much more fascinating than the current daily one word prompts.

Ode to a playground : A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed. Write it a memorial.

There was a very special place  when I was growing up. I went there when I was upset or just needed to get away and think. I have always been drawn to water; it calms my soul.

This place, my hideaway, was on the shore of Lake Ontario located about two kilometers down the dirt road from our house in the country. I used to walk there and back whenever I needed to.

Sadly, it is gone now. I am beyond heartbroken to tell you that the boulder that I used to sit on has been shattered and spread across a huge area.

I have no idea what happened to it; I am still in shock. I used to sit on that boulder with my knees drawn up to my chin and my arms around them while I rocked and cried.

No longer is it my safe haven, no longer can I go and claim my private perch on the boulder feeling the sun’s warmth radiate from the black granite. A place I could call my own.

If I closed my eyes I could almost picture it hugging and soothing me. It was my friend when I had none of the human variety. It listened to my woes without judgment or interruption.

Though my eyes were often full of tears down there and my vision blurry as a result I could hear the water lapping at the shore. I could hear the seagulls cry as they searched for food scraps.

The warm breeze gently blew through my hair; such was the backdrop of my solitary thinking rock. There was peace and serenity in that place and oh how I used to savor it.

The long walk down that road was calming in itself; they do say exercise is helpful for battling depression. At the end of the road, there was a narrow footpath through the tall grass that leads down to the lake.

To the right of the footpath was a local radio relay station. No one was on staff there it was simply a bank of six buildings with long metal structures reaching up into the sky.

Along the length of these metal, structures were the satellite dishes at various different levels and directions that broadcast the signal for miles and miles. At the very tops of them were red flashing lights to alert planes that they were there.

Going along the footpath through the long grass often made me feel like I was entering a sacred place. The long grass was keeping the lonely, painful world separate and away from my precious oasis.

The rest of the beach was strewn with driftwood and smaller rocks with weeds, poking out here and there, at the edge of the sand. If the day was hot there was sometimes a green scum that would chase the waves to the shore.

Even now, if I close my eyes I can still picture it in my mind. I can see it and hear the waves and the birds. Stepping onto the beach from the footpath the first thing you could see was that massive boulder just off to your left.

I would emerge back through the long grass after spending an hour, perhaps longer, there feeling renewed and at peace. It was as if the water had washed away my stress and cares.

Right now I live so far away from where my lakeside boulder was. I am much, much older now as well but knowing that my beloved place of respite is gone grieves me to my core.

It no longer exists so there will be no nostalgic trips there to once again feel the heat radiating from the boulder. It is gone as is the footpath that leads to it.

The photos in the newspaper showed the whole area fenced off. There is an expanse of that yellow plastic caution tape wrapped around a hastily erected fence of thin boards.

There was no explanation in the paper of what happened; what or who destroyed it and put the beach off limits. The article only noted that police are warning the public to stay clear of the area while they investigate.

Farewell boulder, farewell footpath, and beach. Thankfully you were there when I needed you. I don’t think there will ever be a place like that for me again. 😥