Lake Hymn

by Lori Douglas Clark

Clouds painted in wisps and puffs
hang motionless over the lake.
Languid blue sky day
when time stretches luxuriously,
like a cat in love with the arch of its spine.

A day when time loops back on itself,
this moment becoming past moments
filled to the brim with water and sky,
solemn trees canopied overhead,
witnesses to something sacred.

This day a gift:
Lake still and glassy at sunrise,
rising breeze ruffling the surface,
sunlight reflected underwater
in hexagons of golden light.

My arms slice the water,
finding the familiar rhythm of the crawl.
Trail of bubbles with each exhale.

Sunlight dancing on the lake bottom
brings me back to my past,
long string of summers swimming in this lake,
time once again looping and darting
like the little fish in the shallows,
water joining past and present
filling me with all the beauty I’ll ever need.