|“Morning On a Lake In The Mountains”|Photography By Michail Shneider |

Maryanne Frederick’s Morning On a Lake In The Mountains

The wind blew a strand of hair onto my forehead with a distracting tickle, forcing me to scratch. I didn’t mind– wind always helped me to think. I loved the way it polished my cheeks, closed my eyes and made me smile. My hair always whipped wildly as if capturing universal truths born on the breeze and drawing them close. The wind is my muse as is the early morning quiet. This morning, I was perched on a rock with a notepad and pen, where I took in the sunrise with an awed stillness that was renewing. This moment was my alone-time, the only one I would get all day.

The lake had been a glassy mirror until the wind picked up, sprinkling the surface with gentle ripples. That’s okay. It never seemed right to see the refection of the mountains on the other side stretch half way across the lake, crowding the scene with their presence. The mountains were glorious, but they didn’t need to hog the attention away from the lake. Everything was better off left in their place and now the wind ensured it.

The sky, once a rosy hue, now melted with the sun’s rays into the yellowy color of French toast. The mountains still showed off their blueberry tinge. Or maybe it was I who, hungry for breakfast but realizing the importance of the moment, was unwilling to give into the day.

This was my time to write. My family was still tucked in their Egyptian cotton sheets and the hotel’s goose down duvets. I had no one to take care of or to make conversation with– there was only the bald eagle and I sharing the morning. I watched as his feet skimmed the water’s surface and left with his morning’s catch so fresh it was still wiggling mid-air.

I opened my notebook ready for words to pour forth. Ready for inspiration on this morning so chilly that it heightened my senses and made me think of hot chocolate, a warm fireplace and glass windows with a view. But I didn’t want to smile as people walked by me. I didn’t want deal with a waiter or nod to fellow guests as they took a rocking chair next to mine. I wanted to breathe in the pine forest and feel the grit of the dirt under my feet. I wanted to dream about belonging in a place such as this.

The sun was higher now and it cast a ray on the lake that seemed to reach all the way over to where I was sitting. I shifted, so as not to have it shine in my eyes, and was rewarded with a forest view. I leaned over my notebook and began to write.

I am

The sound of a chipmunk distracted me and I watched his maniacal movements over the forest floor. I knew it was time for me to head back. My family would be getting up and the day would be a busy one. I sighed as, yet again, I had nothing to show for my writing time. I hoped the memory of the morning would stay with me for use in the future. Even so, my spirit had rested and I felt renewed. Perhaps that was what I needed from the morning. It was just as important as writing, wasn’t it?

I looked down at the paltry words on the page. “I am…” I thought for a moment. I added one word and a period before packing it up and heading back to the hotel room. Sure enough, my husband was up and getting out of the shower.

“Good morning,” I kissed him. He remarked how cold my jacket was next to his warm, bare skin.

“Did you get much writing done?” He asked, as he made a show of drying himself.

“I had some great ideas, but I only managed to get the main one down,” I opened to notebook to show him.

I am content.