A Small Lake’s Water Wonderment

Didn’t take much effort climbing on top of the table to take this picture. However, with extended hands above my head and eyes not able to see through a shakey phone, it took a few attempts before success was in my grasp. There is no easy access to the lake at Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pa at this time. Correction. Two peepers looking through a high chain fence? Yes. A nice, clear-view picture without a fly-over drone? Uhm, no.

This is a “had-to” picture. Thus, my risking a well-lived life so far. Stepping off the wonky table for you, my dear readers, was worth each thud and creak emanating from knee joints barely supporting a once athletic, racquetball winning frame. Alas, life reminds us table standing – even for a noble cause – may not be for the bold among us because eventually one must come down. Even with the risk, I faced the challenge. Up I went – descend I did … safely so in both directions, this time.

Why this time? Why the lake?

Simple answer? It’s back. The lake, a few minutes drive from my house, is back to being a wet expanse instead of a muddy pit-iful playground for large, yellow drudgers. Big scoopers and plenty-full dumpers dirtied the roadways around this beautiful area for months as dirt shufflers removed layers upon layers of silt. Up the accompanying “Lakemont hill”, many of us travelled this past winter and spring looking out our windows … down into the mucky cavity carved into the earth.

Experts claimed this was necessary. Fish and wildlife activists were outraged at the apparent lack of concern for the aquatic life left to die on the banks. Notably, carp and turtle families were unable to be relocated due to possible disease transfer and logistic problems, as is my understanding. Excavating decades of silt build-up, evidently, trumped any apprehension about what swam in a few feet of water. My experience in the matter is limited to a couple teenage years of paddle-boating and feeding the ugly fish off a small bridge inside the park, so contemplate carp connundrums accordingly.

This day is reserved for a joyous return to normalcy. Well, a small lake’s water wonderment, anyway.. No more dirty views or mud-tracked highways for our displeasure. The metal monsters of the heavy machinery society exited after overstaying their uninvited, neighborhood welcome. Loud noises are no more. All of our emotional sediments are now soot-ably deposited elsewhere … dumped into a future we will not have to contend with any time soon.

Have the fish been restocked? This I don’t know. Tappers of the air who swoop down onto the lake have. Bugs happily feast on the drops of dew popping up from the small crests and ducks swim for afternoon respites. People persons I have not seen yet, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t renting paddle boats from the amusement park of the same name. There’s a small island water park as well within the lake which I don’t believe is operational yet, either.

Regardless, standing on top of a semi-sturdy table was heartwarming and fulfilling. This simple act of wobbly bravery gave me a sense of purpose – a “speak for the lake” declaration as if to say, “I’ve been renewed, refreshed, cleansed, and beautified!”.

The long, hard, ugly, muddy winter we saw day-after-day was temporary. Change was necessary … and the process was difficult to watch. Professional folks who identified the problem came forward with a solution not everyone saw as positive. Strife, conflict, and stress was expected … and achieved.

In the end, however, beauty and wonder came back into our world. A small lake’s water wonderment was re-born.

Locally, we have a lot of road construction happening. Boy, it is frustrating. Detours, delays, and dumptrucks are bumping into folk’s schedules – including mine – at the most inappropriate times. At some point, these roads will be a pleasant ride. At least Lakemont hill isn’t among the annoyances anymore. It’s a joyous view now – north or south.

I won’t risk life and limb too much to capture pictures. Bodily appendages are more important than a blog most times. However, when a thought or declaration needs proclaiming, I will click away. If you drove past a mud hole for months then saw a lake’s grace return, I’m confident you’d step up on any table as well.

Just be careful coming down. That last step can be a creaky one.

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