Sandhya Acharya: The Legend of Lake M

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When life gives you rain its time to play in a lake, if you just know how. Sandhya Acharya has this Perspective.

One cold, dark morning, the clouds seemed heavy, the sky ready to burst and the air full of suspense. At school drop-off, I heard mounting whispers in the backseat of my car. Something big was about to happen. The legend of Lake M was about to appear.

Every year, at least once, when days look like this wet and ready for a downpour, my kids’ school has come to expect the phenomenon of Lake M. As the kids stay indoors for classes, rain falls without a break. And on a patch of concave black-top land, between the clustered school buildings and green running grounds, water collects. It collects and collects until it touches the playground on one side and the music room on the other.

One by one, enterprising reporters from each class keep track of the water level. In true elementary fashion, inaccuracy abounds by a few feet. Finally, at some point in the day, during or after school, everyone gets to see the legend for themselves. Right in the middle of their school, before the good authorities drain it away, is a lake! Wet socks notwithstanding, the kids dip their toes, their feet and sometimes even their ankles. Splosh. Squelch. Squirt. They jump, they run and cries of pure joy echo everywhere.

These past few months of the pandemic have been hard on all of us. It has rained and it has poured. But even as we grapple with the deep, wide lakes in our own lives maybe we all need to take a cue from our kids to appreciate the miracles that also spring with it.

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A handwritten letter from a niece, a baking recipe mastered, an interesting podcast discovered, less traffic on the roads, flexible hours you can control, morning pillow fights, game nights, outdoor hikes. If we open our eyes, Lake M is all around us, all we have to do is splash.

At pick up that afternoon my son ran to me wet to the bone and screaming with delight, “I saw Lake M.” And I replied, “Take me there. I want to see it too.”

With a Perspective, I’m Sandhya Acharya

Sandhya Acharya is an author of children’s books.