Little Lake Sunapee

Little Lake Sunapee
The Summer of ‘22

Gently cloaked by morning mist
Wisps of white float upward
To the warming sun
They swirl, dancing on the surface
Leaving shimmering ripples to move across the lake
The mist bellows as surface water evaporates
Into the cool autumn like air
Nearly obscuring the distant shore.
Little Sunapee is releasing some of the heat
It courageously absorbed
Over the course of the Summer of ‘22

The outcroppings of orange and red
Flame amongst the tree lined shore
Announcing the coming of fall
The marinas are coming daily now
To tow away the toys of summer
People stop by to say,
“See you next summer”
As they journey south once again.

But Little Sunapee remains
The healing, baptismal waters
Stalwartly fill the lake’s crater
Teeming with life within, atop and beside.
The snappers will dive deep
With the fish who have survived the hunting efforts of
The eagles, mergansers, loons
And patient fishermen.
The loons are still calling
But they shall be departing soon
For waters which will not freeze
The Common Merganser babies continue to glide 
In their trio
They, too, will be venturing to more swiftly flowing unfrozen waters. 
Three still alive
I recall the day when one nearly 
Became lunch for resident eagle
I watched breathlessly as the majestic bird
Swooped down from his hunting perch
High atop a pine on distant shore
Common Merganser youth
Floating peacefully in the boat launch all morning
Though facing shore
She somehow sensed
She flew mere inches above the water
Likely, her maiden flight
Making it to a protected area
Safe from the hungry raptor!

Life of Little Lake Sunapee
The circle of life goes round
As the lake offers life to all. 

The faces of the athletes
Arriving to go on the lake
With their instructors from NEHSA*
Pure, unleashed joy
Expressed so magnificently
By the young man who had no words
But his smile radiated into his eyes
And his hands and arms reached out
In unbridled happy movements
Expressing the joy of his heart
People, unable to move lower limbs,
Lifted into kayaks
To be cradled 
In the healing waters
Of Little Sunapee

The man with barely any use 
Of the left side of his body
Propelling his kayak through the water
With adaptive equipment
Even with his head bent down
His smile could be seen
Then, as she helped him from the kayak
His instructor offered him a swim
The day, sweltering in oppressive 90’s
The gentleman expressed doubt in his ability
But trusted the generous guide
Lifejacket intact
He moved himself, floating atop the water
Free, unencumbered
No canes, no brace
Freely moving
In the healing waters
Of Little Lake Sunapee
The foursome arriving from VT
Hassled, harried
Snapping at each other
They pushed through their edges
And launched their kayaks
Faces grim, angry even
As they entered the waters
Without seeing the welcome

Two hours later,
They emerged
Faces transformed
Laughing, joking
Filled with the fresh air of nature
Speaking of the loons,
The wind, and the fun.
Healed by the lake.

The pregnant woman
Carefully watching James and Charles
As they delighted in paddling at water’s edge
Never tiring of their play
Returning another day
With new baby sister
Sleeping, snugly cocooned upon mom’s chest
The boys entering with glee once again
As new life comes to the welcoming waters
Of the Little Lake

Early summer adventures
As Momma Merganser
Tried to teach babies how to scale the wall and enter the lake
How did they know after trying for half an hour,
How did they know
To enter the woods and walk around the little waterfall
How did they know
And what gave them the persistence to keep trying for so long
Despite knowing there was an easier way?

The haunting, compelling call of the loons
Their beauty
They call Little Sunapee one of their summer homes
And such loved residents they are.

The dogs, oh the dogs!
Zoey, who danced circles of joy
From car to water
So excited every time she came
To enter the magical waters
The shepherd, Jada
Gathering rocks
Over and over
Bigger and bigger
Day after day
Too cool to dance
Making a beeline
Needing to cool her fur covered body 
Going straight into the soothing waters
Without so much as a 
“How do you do?”

So many lives enriched
So much life nourished
Untold healing
Happened at the waters of Little Lake Sunapee
The Summer of ‘22
What an honor
What a privilege it has been
To stand witness
To a tiny portion
Of the life-giving waters
Of this beautiful lake.

May we all work
To keep her healthy
To grant her continued life
As she continues ever to give life to all!

Pat O’Connor

*New England Healing Sports Association

12 thoughts on “Little Lake Sunapee

      1. artist
        art·​ist ˈär-tist
        : a person who creates art (such as painting, sculpture, music, or writing) using conscious skill and creative imagination


      2. Fabulous! I remember when a person from an art school came to the house as you were considering going there. She said everyone in the family had to have some art talent. I kept waiting for mine!!


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