I spent all my free time the first half of my life at the lake house my parents used to have in the surroundings of a town near Bratislava. My little sister and me – we spent every summer holidays there. We swam for hours until our lips got blue, we played badminton on the street behind where the cars were driving slowly. The latrine on the other side of the street was especially creepy in the dark because spiders liked it there. I feel the thrill of buying corn, tomatoes and water melons from local vendor driving the bike. I still see the evenings we drove with our father to the nearest water supply to fetch the drinking water into 10 l jerry cans so mum could cook for us. I loved these sunny days – calmer during working week and joyfully noisy during weekends as we always had some visitors. Fresh fruit and ice cream for us and beer for adults. One room with 2 bank beds. Small kitchenette with portable gas stove and camping table and 2 plastic wash basins for washing the dishes. Old black tea bags forgotten in the drawer, spray against mosquitos, coffee cups Made in Czechoslovakia. Mum´s retro bikinis and my first swimming suit with push up bra she gave to me.
I also remember that as a teenager I sank into my world. I read most of the time in the shade and swam and dived. I also observed secretly a young woman in neighbouring house as she went for a swim. She slowly stepped in the cold lake, continued hesitantly until the water reached her waist, then took off her bra and glided quickly with a little gasp into the water. It was almost like a ritual. I was so shy then and could not imagine myself to do the same thing. I also did not see what was the point. There was no intention to impress somebody. Much later I understood that it was just a simple act of liberating oneself from a piece of clothing that hinders the pleasant contact of water with a bare skin.
At university I brought my best friends there. We spent evenings by talking, drinking wine, singing and listening to the music. “Killing me softly” by Fugees was one of the songs that reminds me of my girl-friend desperately in love with a guy who played a clown. Her laugh was so contagious that there was no cure but to follow. Maybe that is why she loved him. For a broad smile that creates cute wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. I remember first kisses and broken hearts, the sound of a train nearby that played unisono with summer breaths. The silence of the lake and sudden splash of fish jumping out of the water and diving into the deep blue. The low flight of swallows before the storm. Thunder in the distance and then the warm heavy rain I love till now. Being soaked in water from hair to toes. Literally.
The source (of energy, peace, love) we can go back to is often within our reach. We only need to remember the place where we have first met. Then we could “step back” to that baseline whenever we need to. With a little bit of practice we will manage to stop our minds going wild, our emotions setting us on a rollercoaster and hopefully to clear the blurred vision of things, events or situations.
A bit of meditation or return to ourselves or whatever you want to call it:
Install yourself comfortably in a chair or lie down if you prefer to. Pay attention to your breathing. Breathe in (into your belly, thus opening your diaphragm) and imagine you breathe in all the positive things (odours you like, feelings you appreciate, images you cherish). Breathe out and imagine you expel all the negativity (you can give it a colour or a vivid image, the nightmare you dreamt of, the fear you experienced, a person that made you feel bad). Concentrate more and more on what you breathe in. Enjoy the feeling. Try to remember it. Observe that as you breathe you feel more and more relaxed, calm and secure. Now revive a positive image – think of something pleasant or beautiful that captured your attention. It can be a circle of close friends you spent a nice time with recently, your child you cuddled with, colours of trees you saw on your recent walk, piece of music you listened to. I do not know. Your subconscious knows better. Once you have the image, situation – let it embrace you. Breathe in and out, observe the colours, smell the different perfumes, touch, feel the temperature. You feel calm, at peace and secure. Breathe at your natural pace and enjoy what you are experiencing.
This is your “lake house”, the place you can always go to, whenever you want to, with whomever you want to. This is your refuge where you feel calm, loved and secure. If you feel like it repeat the exercise daily. Do not abandon the idea if it does not bring you the expected results immediately. Good things come to us in waves. We need to keep on trying and believing. Only antibiotics, painkillers and psychofarmaca work without trust and faith. However, they only bring a temporary relief. We all need more stable solution, don´t we?