Lake Gaston is on the border between Virginia and North Carolina. Seen from Interstate 85, it is a large silvery expanse of water bordered by pine forests, boat docks, and attractive vacation homes.
I used to drive that way a few times a year, and Lake Gaston was invariably one of the highlights of my trip. Whether the sky was cloudy or clear, the sun's rays slanting and mellow or vertical and blazing, it always offered something to refresh my spirit. It was so pleasant just to stop there for a few moments.
Then one winter day I drove by Lake Gaston and was astonished to see it had dried up, leaving only caked mud at the bottom. However, what really stunned me was to see how ridiculously shallow it was. Such an expansive lake, yet a man of average height like me could not have drowned in it. Such beauty and charm filled to the brim, yet at the first sign of trouble all that was left was barren ugliness.
I don't blame you for what you are, Lake Gaston. It's just that you reminded me of a wound that was supposed to have been forgotten.