there are so many things, so many sights, so many places, feelings and moments in this world that you can not capture with a camera no matter how hard you try. i would know. i spent the last 3 days trying to capture Bass Lake, my grandparents’ home, my home, through the lens of my camera. i pressed the button and adjusted the aperture for more heartbeats than i can count but as we raced across the water, my hair wet and my heart happy, i left my camera on the ground of the pontoon. i had not given up–i had realized something. sometimes–and most often at the most important moments when you want to do so the most–you can not capture what your eyes see because there is no way something created by man can recreate a moment so full of feelings only humans can feel. so instead i watched the shoreline, the tall Northwoods trees and listened to the loons’ cry. i felt my hair drip down my bare back and smiled as the sun kissed my face and the wind pulled at my hair. i listened to the voices of the people i love around me and i was. i let Bass Lake calm my soul for the last time that it will ever do so. and when i walked up the stairs today, the stairs, i turned around and looked at it one last time for just a heartbeat. and then i turned and continued to walk. i did not wait. i did not stand there and cry. i looked once and i turned my back because i am not saying goodbye. as much as my heart aches right now and tears are dangerously close to falling down my cheeks, as much as i almost started crying when we pulled onto the interstate leaving behind the great Northwoods for the last time, i will not say goodbye. i will not say anything along those lines. Bass Lake and all that surrounds it and all that it stands for will always be the base of who I am. If i said goodbye to it that would be like cutting out the very foundation of who i am and although that is exactly how i feel right now, i am swallowing the tears and the sadness and instead trying my very best to focus on all the good that that lake gave me. perhaps i should cry. perhaps i will. but right now i can’t. because i am trying my very best to give Bass Lake and Red Paddle Camp the thousands of thanks they deserve. thanks for giving me a refuge for the harshness of this world, thanks for teaching me history about the earth i walk on, for showing me how beautiful nature is and how wonderfully hard both being part of a family and growing up are. thank you for keeping part of my childhood locked away for me, for letting me cry and allowing me to laugh. for never judging me, for always and always letting me grow into a better person. thank you, thank you, thank you.