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Lake life: taking lessons from the local inhabitants

Learning to fly, the art of self-defense, confidence – lake life offers daily lessons.

Lake life: A sunset at Sardis Lake in Oklahoma, is shown in this photo.

Oklahomans for Responsible Water Policy / PRNewsFoto / Newscom

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I have the heart of a world traveler, but the body and temperament of a day-tripper. While I love to hear of others' travels, I have thrived by staying closer to home. By studying one place as it has changed with the seasons and the years, I have learned much about where I live and about myself as well.

Henry David Thoreau noted wryly, "I have traveled a great deal in Concord." Over the years I have echoed his sentiments as I have "traveled a great deal" around Silver Lake, my home of these past 30 years. This small lake community, south of Boston, has helped me not only to understand but to welcome, or at least to make peace with, the relentless change in my world.

I've observed the nesting swans as they hide each year, tucked into the tall grasses at the wilder end of the lake. The newly hatched cygnets' presence is telegraphed by the activity of the parents, heads bobbing in the grasses as they care for their brood.

The Canada geese parade proudly about the lake with their goslings in the spring. The little ones grow quickly as their watchful parents guard them and hiss at anyone who comes too close.

At sunset, great blue herons fly to the top of the pines that cover the island in the middle of the lake, settling down slowly as the trees bow under their weight.

The geese, giving flying lessons in the fall, provide a front row seat on parenting in the wild, as they insist that their young learn to trust their wings.

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