Making my way to the lake took longer than usual today. I parked early this morning in the Frank parking lot, rushing to my 8:30 physics class, and I had not bothered to move it before making my way down to my place of observation. It was a nice enough day, albeit with wind chilly enough to make even the hottest of sunny glares cool down, and the walking was pleasant. Without a drop of rain in the sky, and with all my classes for the day already well behind me, I am in no rush, which is reflected in my light pace.
When I finally do arrive at the lake, I take the scenic route, cutting through the meadow in an attempt to both save a little time and to have a different perspective of the landscape laid out in front of me. A lone individual, silhouetted against the backdrop of the sun-kissed water, leisurely casts his fishing rod deep out into the lake, using his time to relax and stare off into the depths of the water as I draw closer to the shore. Finally within a stone’s throw of the lake, I cut a sharp left to the paved path that I’ve come to know so well. This particular venture, I linger near the edge of the gravel path, taking in my surroundings and finding new meaning in them.
From my current viewpoint, I can barely see the lake, with my eyes having to thread the needle between one large tree on my right and a cluster of trees on my left. In between the trees, resting cozy in the grass, lies a stark white sign, boldly declaring the lack of available and allowable parking in this area. The color of the sign, at a sharp contrast with all of its surroundings, throws me off. While the point of the signs color is to attract attention, it still feels out of place in this landscape of peaceful trees and ripples. At this distance, the lake appears as a blurry mass, devoid of all character save for some natural highlights, with shadows pouring over its surface from far-away trees.
Just to my right a small drain exists, erupting from the ground. It reminds me of the larger french drain just a few strides down the road, yet this drain is much less intrusive. Its small mouth barely pokes out from under it’s grassy covering, and it serves its purpose well, aiding in transforming the ground from it’s swampy state back into a state of spring bliss. This human addition feels almost representative of the balancing act occurring near the lake, with a natural place meeting a man-made force with an explosion of new features and inhabitants. The emergence and blending of the two distinct cultures has left a happy median in its wake, with both of the sides retaining autonomy as they support an odd sort of hybrid at their borders. The land that I see out before me is not quite fully natural, but it still has distinct streaks of human impact glazed throughout it, giving it a unique feel that can enchant even the dullest of days.