I can remember the feeling of the weathered boards under my bare feet. The dock jutted straight out into the lake. Steadfast, protector of our inlet, guardian of our little cottage paradise. Well constructed by the hands of my dear old grandad and enjoyed by his family and friends.
If you sat at the end of the dock, you could hear the gentle lapping of the waves that would roll in from boats passing by. To the right, there was an old stump that stood guard as well, surrounded by golden rods, humming blue dragonflies and the occasional singing bullfrog. On the other side of the inlet where the shadows stayed all day were the trunks of old trees that had fallen long ago and become the perfect hideaway for turtles and fish. It was beautiful. It was peaceful. It was ours.
It was the passageway to many memories. Hosting years of barefoot children running and leaping off the edge with cannonballs and bellyflops. It’s the place where we learned to finesse the perfect dive. It was the fortress for tiny minnows and sunfish, their brilliant scales sparkling as they would dart in and out. Occasionally, it was the place where shrieks could be heard if we disturbed a hiding dock spider and it decided to make an appearance. We would quickly jump into the lake and splash as much water as we possibly could at the unfortunate arachnid. It was the place where many sticks were thrown for eager border collies willing to dive and fetch their waterlogged prize.
The dock was a place where displays of bravery were shown as young children took their first swims without life jackets, where we took our first water ski runs from, where proud anglers displayed their successful catches. It was the perfect place for a picnic, where snacks were shared all day; where popsicles dripped, and lemonade spilled and smiles were almost always present. It was the place where cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents spent time together and laughed together. At the end of the day, it’s where we would gather all the wet towels and life jackets. Where we would dip our feet in. Where we would watch the sunset and unwind. It was the best kind of life.
It was dock life.
By Danielle McNelly, Nortech Windows, Doors & Sunrooms