Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Longing

Mark stands on a small bluff overlooking Show Low Lake.
5 June 2015

Yesterday afternoon, after I picked up Mark from work, we drove over to pick up our son-in-law Chris and take him to work, since Sarah was already at her job and he was left without a ride. Along the way to Chris's job at Aires, we passed by Show Low Lake. Mark hadn't been near the lake since he came back to the mountain almost 6 weeks ago.

I'm pretty sure Mark was picturing himself with a fishing rod in his hands.

As we drove along the road that parallels the lake, I noticed Mark craning his neck to catch glimpses of the water between the trees. When he still lived here, more than 8 years ago, this was one of Mark's favorite places to be. If he could have the dearest wish of his heart, he would be a professional fisherman. He can spend hours on the water with a fishing pole in his hand. This is where he has always found peace.

Show Low Lake is about 2 miles from our house, maybe less.

After we dropped off Chris, we passed a back road that leads to Mark's favorite part of the lake, where in the past he liked to fish, swim, and jump off the water tower. I slowed as we took the curve away from the little dirt road, and he contorted himself as he tried to look down the road falling behind us. I can only describe the expression on his face as "longing."

I asked if he'd like to drive back and have a look at the lake. Reluctantly, he said, "No, that's okay." I told him we had time to stop, and his face lit up, so we turned around. The road back to the lake was pretty scary, with holes big enough to swallow my little car, but we navigated it without calamity.

The tower from which Mark liked to dive. He hit his head on it once
and gave himself a mild concussion.

Watching Mark soak up his beloved outdoors, stretching and sighing, made the stop worthwhile. His eyes drank it all in and his body relaxed. Soon he'll be back on the lake with a new set of fishing gear, doing what he loves most.

It doesn't look that high, but it's about a 10-foot drop to the little beach
below the rocks where we stood. Mark told me the lake is quite deep.
He said the little shelf of beach you see under the water drops off right there.

Since Mark doesn't read my blog, I can safely say here that there's a good chance he won't have to use his own money from his new job to purchase new fishing supplies. As it happens, his 47th birthday is coming up on June 21st, which also happens to be Father's Day this year. I suspect he may get some gifts from his children that he will really, really like!

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