Motivation logo

The Calm Lake versus the Raging Sea

Seeing my own reflection in the calm water

By Stella YanPublished 7 months ago 3 min read
Credit: Author

My husband really wanted a short vacation trip the last Labor Day weekend, but the weather forecast was not looking good. After some thought and debates, we finally decided to visit a nearby state park instead of going far. And of course, we would bring our 11-year-old daughter.

After one hour and a half of driving, we finally arrived. Immediately the calm blue lake caught my eyes. With limited sunshine, the lake water was not shimmering much but still looked like a giant warm blanket that was luring you to tuck in. The reflections of the cloud and trees were like the prints on the blanket, the white, blue, and green all blend well in harmony.

The temperature was just right, it would be perfect if the three of us pick a nice spot to sit by the lake and enjoy the view for a while. Yet, it did not happen.

‘It’s so boring!.’

My daughter started complaining, then kept complaining non-stop.

She was not always like this. During the summer, we visited Niagara Falls, and even though we had to stand in line for more than an hour to finish the ‘Journey Behind the Falls’, she did not complain that much. I just could not understand.

Is a calm lake really boring?

The bridge, the paddleboat, the beach, the hiking trails, nothing could make my 11-year-old feel excited.

Have you ever felt that way? Being bored by days lack of surprise, lack of the wows.

So what can cheer her up? A raging sea full of dangers? An unknown path that leads to an unknown world? Days full of mysteries and puzzles?

As I enter my middle age stage of life, I am starting to slow down my rhythms. I have taken some risks in the past and endured some big changes in my life, not that I do not know the excitement and fulfillment those days can bring, but my willpower has turned from a burning fire into something more like the calm waters. I am still willing to travel afar to go see Niagara Falls, but I am also completely satisfied sitting by a calm lake. I have come to understand that there is beauty in all highs and lows of life. Instead of burning myself to achieve my high hopes, I have learned to lay back a little but be persistent and resilient.

You may call it ‘getting old’, I call it ‘calming down’.

When I was younger, days flew by so quickly that there was never a good time to sit down and have deep self-talk. Sometimes things bothered me but I could not tell why. Feelings that were buried deep down never got a chance to be dealt with. Like it or not, changing diapers and washing baby bottles always came first.

The lake that I visited may lack the excitement that a raging sea can bring, but the calm surface has allowed me to see my own reflection in the water. As I enter middle age, I feel the need for self-reflection more than ever. The stillness of the lake water allows me to hear the faintest voice that comes from my heart, to nurture that voice, and respond to it. The calm lake reminds me of what I need most at my current stage of life.

Of course, I do not expect an 11-year-old to understand what the lake means to me. One day, far into the future, after her own ups and lows in life, I think my daughter will get to appreciate the calming scene that she once complained about.

self help

About the Creator

Stella Yan

PhD in Physics. A wife and mother living in the US. Writes about science, religion, and self-reflection.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.