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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Lake Nubie

Air Date: Week of

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Commentator Carol Young reminds us that some places will always be special in the heart and mind.


CURWOOD: You're listening to NPR's Living on Earth. Sometimes, places that are the most special to us are the very ones we must leave behind. Commentator Carol Young has these thoughts on the loss of her own special place of water, wind, and wonder in New Hampshire.

YOUNG: Lake Nubanusit-- or Nubie, as the locals call it-- has been my home for four years. Two miles long and sixty feet at its deepest spot, it is one of New Hampshire's most pristine lakes. Nubie has given me solace many times over. Today, the August sun and the thoughts banging inside my brain propel me into the water. The liquid slides over my skin. I swim until the heaviness I carry dissolves into the lake. Landlocked salmon, far below, dart away from my shadow and I think about their slithering shapes. I am landlocked in a very different sense. Today is my last day of living on Nubie. I am leaving because my husband and I have not been able to make our marriage work. He will keep the house, and I will move on. I am losing the very place I need most right now. Indeed, it has been the fear of losing Nubie that has made me hold on for so long. The time has come, however, for me to go.

How many hours have I spent scrambling over the granite rocks of its shoreline? How many scratches have I gotten from sneaking my way through high bush blueberries? Nearly every day, Nubie has revealed to me some treasure she holds. One sunny day in March I struggled on snow shoes to summit the steep, south-facing bank of Cabot Island. There, less than ten yards from the water's edge, a nest appeared in the snow. Fresh tracks leading away from it and fine hairs not yet frozen into an icy crust told me a bobcat had very recently been basking there. My discovery was like Nature's own confirmation of how sacred this place is.

Before I return to the house, I close my eyes and thank some higher power for bringing me here. At the end of the path I see my wild rose bush. It has not bloomed in over a month, yet it now bears a bud that will soon open. Tomorrow, after the moving van is packed, I will pick this one perfect flower. I cannot imagine ever finding a place like this again. Somehow, though, I will find a way to take Lake Nubanusit with me.

CURWOOD: Carol Young teaches biology and environmental science at ConVal High School in Peterborough, New Hampshire.



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