Monday, May 11, 2009

Why I love and write about Lake Champlain, Vermont

Writing for me is cathartic. I get to put my moods to use. I don't know about other writers, but I like to use familiar places for my stories. The places you grew up in. The places you visited that left a memory so strong you use it. I spent most of my childhood growing up in Burlington, and South Hero, Vermont and in Port Washington, and Wantagh, on Long Island in New York, and a year in High School, in Ottawa, Canada. Despite spending more time here in Florida, as an adult, then in any one of those places, I still feel more at home in one of them. What makes a place feel like home. There are people in all of the places I've lived that are important to me. But the one I have always felt closest to is Lake Champlain and South Hero, Vermont.
Maybe it's because I had cousins to hang with, maybe it was childhood itself, maybe because it was a time where I had less to worry about. I never had to worry about the mortgage, the FPL bill or how to pay for food. Everything was there for me.
But I think it was the lake. I remember being under water and opening my eyes to see a fish swim by. It was crystal clear and I'd watch the stones on the bottom go by as I swam. And I had imagination. I think that was the beginning of my love for Lake Champlain. I always had imagination, I could be whatever I wanted. A pirates captive, a mermaid, a girl pretending to be a boy so I could fight in one of those old forts on the lake shore. The lake was magic. And it is still in me. Now that makes me smile.