Just before dawn the lake is quiet and still. Its body is a flat, dark mirror – it is motionless until the sun comes up and gently rocks it from sleep. Small waves undulate, barely noticeable but for the patches of grey, reflections of the sky that melt and reform instantly on its surface. In the distance a gentle breeze sharpens the waves and a lone fisherman casts from his boat. Like a needle, his line pricks the surface of the water. Slowly the motor boats begin to appear. They scratch incessantly at the lake, cutting over it. Does it reel in agony? Does the pain travel in the waves that lap against the dock? Lake Rosseau is female in nature. She constantly laps at the land, sometimes pounding against the shore, at other times gently caressing it, like a mistress with her lover. But her real passion comes out during a thunderstorm. When sheet lightning fills the sky, the lake stirs with excitement, longing for its touch. Her waves pound the shore as the tension between them builds. The storm rumbles and the lake shudders, her passion is released when the night sky is filled with bolts of lightning. Each moment is captured in an eerie flash of light. The sky and lake are joined and for brief seconds merge as one. The sky is dark and silent, every so often echoing the burst of lightning with a clap of thunder. In the calm after a storm you can hear the lake give a gentle sigh. But even when her surface is pummelled by wind and rain, by forces beyond her control, she cradles and protects life gently in her embrace. Last night I dreamed of a day long ago in my childhood, of a memory I’d forgotten. It was a hot, lazy summer day on our farm. I was lying in the long grass watching swallows swoop and dive in the blue, cloudless sky above. They flew in a group and every so often they’d dive and disappear through the open windows of our barn. Inside the barn was cool and filled with the calls of baby birds. The nests were high in the rafters. I waited until the mothers went out to collect food, then climbed up to get a better look. The young birds could sense me and were silent, sitting very still in their nests. I sat motionless when the mothers returned. At first they darted around me, nagging angry protests, but the baby birds began piping for food, tugging their mothers away from me. They fed their young quickly, darting their beaks from one mouth to the next. After a few trips, the mothers no longer noticed me and flew directly to their nests with food. The baby birds were completely dependent on their mothers. I woke up from the dream just as my arms spread to take off in flight. I lay in bed for a while thinking about that summer day in the rafters. I was about eight or nine years old and even then overwhelmed with the idea of motherhood. Having a small life completely dependent on me suddenly seemed more significant than anything else I could do with my life. In this morning’s paper was an article about an American lawyer who repeatedly sued the large tobacco companies and won. The lawyer is now fighting the fast-food chains and has already caused quite an impact. It’s not so much the causes this lawyer is backing, but the fact that he is attempting to change the world, that I find so inspiring. He is accomplishing so much in a world where idealism has all but vanished. I’m struggling to find inspiration today. It is all around me, but just out of reach. My thoughts drift to cleaning. Should I straighten the carpet? Rake pine needles from the beach? I can’t seem to write. Frustration pulls at my sleeve. The words are in me. Ideas that float about in my mind, but I can’t seem to get at them. The key to success is hanging on. Human effort needs to be constant, like the rhythm of the waves on the dock or the singing of the birds each morning. I’m not sure how many times I’ve wanted to give up on this newspaper, but each time I couldn’t let go. As Kipling wrote “If you can hang on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to those hang on…”My father used to say that the art to life is holding on through the bad luck and making the most of the good. The paper has finally developed into the dream I envisioned. But I find myself wanting to reach a little further; we could, after all, be national… How do I express the gratitude I have for those people who encouraged me – my husband Greg, the writers and editors? How do I thank the advertisers in these pages for taking a risk on us? They have enabled us to create a paper designed for intelligent women. “Thank you” doesn’t convey the deep appreciation and motivation they’ve given us over the years. ********************** With the help of Royal LePage, we have been able to add a section dedicated to non-profit organizations for women. We hope to make it an informative spread that will both educate and motivate our readers, while at the same time providing information to women who may be in need of the help these organizations offer. In the past decade the number of women and children in shelters has increased dramatically. On page 10 you’ll find an informative piece on the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, which contributes to shelters for women across the country. I implore you to make a donation; your help will provide shelter to women and children in need. A small contribution will go a long way. You can make a donation online at :www.royallepage.ca/shelter/donation/index.htm


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