A Return to the Lake

(Day 20 – Something you wonder “What if…?” about)

I was at the Lake of Imagination again the other day. For some reason, the water’s pull was stronger and, when I got there, I found that I was all alone. Alone was good. Solitude had been hard to come by lately – I needed time to just be with myself.

I made my way to my usual spot – the large mossy rock by the east bank – slipped of my shoes, and inched my feet into the refreshing pool. Crystal ripples swirled around my ankles as distant thoughts and memories swiveled their way around my head.

Thoughts. Memories. They were funny things. I looked at my fragmented reflection, pondering about the woman who was pondering back at me. It was amazing what three years and a few months had done to her. She had grown so much in that short amount of time.

I closed my eyes and wondered. What if I hadn’t left? What if I had stuck to my original plan, submitted my papers to my old university’s graduate school, and stayed? Would the woman staring back at me be just as mature, just as adventurous, just as flexible, and just as strangely melancholy?

Well. She might’ve met Rick Pino. She might’ve rushed into or out of love – or perhaps she might not have found it at all. She might have…

She might’ve what? Or rather – I might’ve what?

It was strange. There were times I found myself wanting the life I lived back then. But as I opened my eyes and gazed at the fragmented image, I realized that the truth was that I honestly didn’t because I was right where I needed to be in that very season of my life.

I was at the center of His heart and that’s what mattered. I was smack in the middle of His will and that was enough to dispel every single “what if”.

I lifted my feet out of the water and bent over to take a closer look at the woman who also wanted to take a good look at me. Little by little, the ripples subsided – the image became more distinct, more defined. It was fragmented no more.

And so I left the lake, perhaps to return to it still – another day.

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