Up at the Lake (for Mom and Monica)


This is a collective memory, the collective part representing my years on this Earth. This, too, is a meditation, a journey that takes me there in the seasons that don’t match up to the memory of the senses. It’s a memory of my ancestors and all who have experienced time “up at the lake.”

It is a breezy warm morning. The smell of the shoreline calls as the gulls and loons lend their voices. I feel naked as I walk towards the water in very little clothing. As the wind picks up, I see poplar trees, their leaves rattling and rustling; they shake like little hands waving and smiling at me, their music so reassuring. Sunfish linger and float near the dock and minnow schools hustle when I’m ankle deep. Dragonflies in pairs dip and swarm and bounce away. I see dead lake bugs from the night before, some fresh and also skeletons of ones that shed their bodies and others that dried up in the sun in the spider’s web. The wind pushes them to the water’s surface.

A mammoth fish jumps in the distance and fisher people get excited. They troll the shoreline looking for that big fish. A mother eagle with her young glide in synchronized flight, swooping down to catch their prey — guess they got it! The sun sparkling on the water looks so beautiful. It reduces me to tears.

I play in the water like a child looking for a frog…or maybe that magic agate? Horse and deer flies are out. Ouch! Collecting rocks and shells every summer like it was the first summer. The sun’s rays heal me. Pines that stand sturdy line the spaces that surround me, for the trees are protectors and communicators; Gods and Goddesses, they are…so many of them. Tiger lilies blooming by the lake, bigger and heartier than city lilies, are dotted like stars and seem more bold in their personality. Wild flowers blow around the strong lilies. Something here attracts a hummingbird.

Sitting in sand, I sift it like flour in my hands while my toes are in deep. Lying in the sand is Mother Nature’s chiropractic care. The earth aligns my spine, offering the most incredible support. Flat on my back, I watch big white clouds drift through the blue. I see animals and faces of dragons and monsters. I smell the lake and the fragrance in the breeze. I could rest here forever.

It’s getting hot — by noon the sand is too hot to walk on, so I leap fast and run for the water. Time for the plunge. Into the clean refreshing water. I wallow and linger like a child. I try to imagine life in the water, an element with which I am well acquainted. I shapeshift into a turtle. It’s always hard to leave the lake. Nobody ever wants to leave.

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Megan Bacigalupo
Megan Bacigalupo has a degree in Human Services and works in the restaurant business in Minneapolis. She is a contributing writer for The Edge Magazine. Megan is a survivor of a hemorrhagic stroke. Her survival story, “In the Cobwebs of my Mind,” was featured in Hope Magazine and shared by several of the leading Brain Aneurysm Foundations. Megan was featured in Reader’s Digest in April of 2021. Title: Poultry in Motion. She was also featured in Human Events in June of 2021, In a story about living in Minneapolis during difficult times . In the Cobwebs of My Mind has now been expanded into a book, Wisdom Editions (an imprint of Calumet Editions), July 2023.


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