On a few evenings each summer I go to a small lake and jump in off a fishing dock. This ritual isn’t done often enough, yet it still preserves the essence of summer. Even if everyone is busy in my house, I usually convince them to go by building up the event. I talk about the cool clear water, the bright blue sky and the fish that hide around the dock. Then I get the outdoor gear together, pack snacks, grab a book, paper and a pen and head out. Once my passengers are ready I wonder why it takes so long to get ready to go.
Upon arrival we scan the water and hope the favorite swimming spot is not occupied. Usually it is open and clear because Wi-Fi isn’t available around the lake. But, smart phones do hold promise of keeping many people adequately distracted while out in nature. With a smart phone you can even go out with a group of nature lovers and ignore the event. With a smart phone you chat about recent television shows with someone who is watching National Geographic on television.
After the gear is out of the car we walk to the dock. There is nothing graceful about making the first jump into the lake. After tossing floating apparatuses into the water I fling myself out towards them. My goal is for a splash followed with a call that sounds like a whale.
After the first plunge I realize I wasn’t fully awake until popping up from underwater. All the dock jumpers feel reinvigorated as fish race to hide and bacteria in the water seeks to infiltrate our bodies. At such wondrous moments some people ignore their cell phones or turn them off. But there are always some who cannot control the addiction. The only possibility is if they jump into the lake with a phone in their pocket. If that happens, they can still talk with nature on a dead phone.