" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

August 20, 2010

At the Lake on Salt Spring

After a serious reconnaissance mission on trying to find the perfect place to go swimming on Salt Spring, I finally gave up, started back at square one and waded into St. Mary's Lake, the public access no less, right off the road that curves around it like a bikini does on some hot young thing's body.

First I went to Southey Point. There's a very small access there and if nobody is there, it could be good. Except on this particular evening, the water was really "messy" with seaclutter. I peered down into it and saw a few purple-black crabs scuttling sideways and that did it for me.  I can't swim there. I'm citified. They might pinch my baby toe! What else might be lurking in that cesspool of seaweediness?

I didn't want to drive all the way out to the Indian Reserve where there is hardly ever anyone on my favorite beach. Stowell? Weston?Cusheon? Nah! Didn't want to drive that far. Blackburn is out. The last time I was there was many years ago before I knew that it was a nude beach, I had only figured that out as I tiptoed over the naked bodies on the dock, slightly mortified that I hadn't noticed anything prior to almost stepping on a rather small appendage.Why is it always the people who you don't really want to see naked, the only ones naked? You are then  left with an image stuck in your head that arises at the most inopportune times, like when you're about to chow down on a Tuna fish sandwich?

 It was 7:30 pm. There weren't very many people there. There were a few fully-clothed moms on blankets watching their kids play. Two lesbians who couldn't take their hands, or their eyes, off each other were half in and half out of the water. I have to think it must have been a "new" relationship as a little boy played around them. The water was pea-soup luke warm and easy enough to get into with its sandy bottom.

I didn't wear a bathing suit. Too fat for that. I put on my black fast-drying shorts and a Jockey camisole; beach attire for fat people who think people won't notice that they're fat and that's why they're wearing what they're wearing. I can't have one more thing sticking to my body that isn't already a part of it. As an aside, many, many years ago - I might have been 25 - I bought a poster in Victoria that was a painting of the five stages of women. The middle one was just an apartment-looking rectangular block. At 115 pounds then, I didn't get it. What's that? I stared at that for years thinking, Why is the middle represenation of a woman just three solid blocks?  That ignorance was a good thing. I still have that poster. Now, I should just circle the middle block in red and attach my name to it. Now I get it. Menopause. Here. Not a good thing. My doctor in Vancouver told me I needed to stop drinking, completely. Not one drink. "Empty calories," she said. I just looked at her like WTF? But, now, I'm beginning to consider it. Just as soon as the summer is officially over. I mean what pleasure will I have left for god sakes? This is what my life has come to. Bathing-suit restricted, alcohol restricted self inflicted deprivation and not even a single adult being in the form of an offspring to blame for my deterioration? Geez!

Back at the beach, the water was a beautiful wavy emerald green. It was the exact colour of "the Jag" I wish I owned. Someone was trying to teach a little boy how to jump off his shoulders properly propelled at the exact moment into the liquid greenness. "Keep your legs straight until I lift you out of the water," he kept shouting, as if he was an Olympic gymnastics coach. It wasn't even his kid. He gave him one last heave and then he was gone to join his wife at the car, his pink towel wrapped around his waist. A man secure in his manliness. I like that. It's too rare.

I floated around for at least 20 minutes, enjoying the view from the water, the reflections, the conversation of kids on the beach, swimming, checking out that beachside resort that looks way nicer from the lake than from the road. I thought about my own childhood at the lake, Osoyoos Lake, and I relaxed, away from technology,  cool green water soothing me, completely, at the end of a very hot summer day in BC.

No comments: