our village (28)

Another night I was walkin’ around the lake—been meaning to tell you about this—and there was no moon, and the stars were bright, and the lake was breathing, pulsing, with starlight bouncing off the surface and resounding—as sound, I mean, literally—as little ploops of air bubbles and a beaver’s tail slap and the oh-so-quiet lapping of a light night wave on the shore … the lake is waking up. And our little Loch Ness monster—now don’t tell me that scares you, Lilly-Anne; the lake monster is just a story; it’s not gonna cause any … I mean, a story is just … Lilly-Anne, it’s just a story. But the story makes it more exciting, makes the idea of the lake coming alive in spring something that’s easier to feel and imagine. Maybe a little frightening, too, I can see that, but what if we just tell ourselves it’s not scary, what if we just tell ourselves it’s cool? Imagine, Lilly-Anne, a peaceful creature of the lake, it’s been napping all winter at the bottom of the lake, curled up on itself, just dreaming sweet dreams, even a little smile on its face if creatures like that can smile. And what’s it been dreaming? Oh, I don’t know, imagine the soft fur of a rabbit, or I guess it doesn’t know rabbits because it lives in the lake, so maybe it’s dreaming something peaceful like a pretty little fish that glides through the water, effortlessly, maybe even purposelessly, the swimming being reason itself for its pretty little existence … or maybe a school of fish, you know how they get together in tight groups, darting this way and that way, like they’re a single entity with a single group mind, all those little fish somehow bunched together and moving in synchronicity, thinking in synchronicity (if you can call it thinking), creating their reality through sacrificing their individuality to this beautiful group entity, and it is beautiful, imagine it is, all of them swimming together, thinking together, like those flocks of starlings you see over the lake sometimes, they call them “murmurations,” which I love, and they swim through the sky like fast-changing dark clouds, natural, beautiful, sufficient …. That’s what the lake monster—not a monster, a creature: the creature of the lake, the lady of the lake—that’s what she’s been dreaming. Imagine it. It’s not scary, right? Imagine you’re her, Lilly-Anne, the lady of the lake, waking up in springtime, after a winter of seeing beautiful things in your dreams, now it’s time to wake up and live your dreams.

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