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Delafield Neighbors

Letters From Suzette

Oct 17, 2014 11:42PM ● By Laura Ustanovska

By Suzette Jaskie

I'm in the great north woods of Wisconsin, and I find myself gathered around two old picnic tables at the edge of Mason Lake with friends too precious to find words to describe. The sun is starting to put its path across the water as it lowers from the height of the day, and sparkling reflections like stars dance across the gentle wake from a passing boat. The fire is stoked with logs below the grate of the outdoor skillet as steaks and today’s catch sizzle and potatoes fry. We remember stories of summers gone by when the children were small and a week was spent rehearsing a song and dance for show – dressed in Chinese costumes. Or when every lake vacation included a trip to the emergency room with a bite, a fall from the top of the bunk or swimmer’s ear. We talk about the ones that aren't here gathered around this table – field hockey tryouts, an internship, a new job – and we talk about the soon-to-be college freshmen, leaving their homes for the first time and about the rising seniors anticipating the pinnacle year. We watch the teens seeing each other – after years of playing childhood games – for the first time. Boz, Lady A, Zac, Stevie and Faith all sing to us as we toast each other’s loveliness, sharing precious nectar brought from places far away from this table. All is well with the world.

We have sat around many of life’s tables together – some glorious and proud, some sorrowful and scary, some lazy and cool. The constant of it all is the trust in each other, the depth of the belly laugh and the permission and requirement to be ourselves. It is the comfort in my own skin that I recall as I sit amongst this love circle. At this moment I understand that my life is successful and rich and full. I understand that the void I have been feeling is my own careless drive that has allowed life to become out of balance – barely recognizing myself. As I slow my Mach 10 life to really see this rickety old picnic table and breathe in the bounty surrounding me, I know that I am right where I am supposed to be – at this thanksgiving table in the woods. Thankful for the beauty of the little lake in the woods, for the constancy of its presentation and for family and friends who know what is right for me. But I think most of all – thankful that I have put my finger on the void, that the knowingness that energy can once again be rearranged and that whether dining alone or in the presence of these fine friends – that life is good and wondrous and full of sweet possibility. I am also thankful to know that life isn’t perfect every day and sometimes those days line up to many in succession – but in the end, we are capable to regroup, and begin again.

And as the pontoon pushes off from the shore and we make our way around the lake – we see a shooting star!

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