It’s so much different from up here, beautiful, serene, peaceful. I could never grasp the enormity of it from ground level. Sure I’d seen the aerial shots a thousand times, knew its shape and what it meant. But this place had always been more a relic of my childhood than a monument to human ingenuity.
I’d watched many a fisherman pluck a battered row boat from the J’s boat launch. I’d run back and forth over the little bridge connecting the tiny island in the middle of the lake to rest of the park on the bottom of the A. I’d plucked cattails off the backside of the L. It was just a tiny lake in a tiny park in the middle of nowhere that was my childhood home.
Now the lake is more of funny story to tell at cocktail parties. Why yes, I did grow up in a town that has the only man-made lake in the shape of its name, I’d say off-handedly. A little known fact is that the lake derives its shape from a cattle brand from a ranch family who formed the town, I’d quip.
But flying over it, it’s something completely different. I wish I’d gotten to see it from this high up in my youth. It’s a spectacle in a sea of brown where the only other landmarks are obtrusive pump jacks every few miles or so. This little lake is a visual oasis of blues and greens and seeing the name writ large on the ground filled me with a pride for the town I’d never really felt.
They’d called me to help them save it, to preserve it somehow. I had no idea if I had the wherewithal, but now, seeing its beauty the way I did, I’d damn sure try.
This week's Trifecta challenge brought up a lot of hometown nostalgia and pride for whatever reason. This week's word, brand, brought up a wealth of memories, so much to chose from that I didn't know where to start. I tried writing a piece about the Western Heritage Museum, but that didn't work out, thought about some of the cattle brands I'd seen in my youth, but that didn't really connect, so what I came up with is a little love letter of sorts to the town lake that was such a part of my youth.
Also, FYI, my birthday's coming up. It you want to wish me a happy birthday, I've got just the way you can do it.