Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire is a magical place. Winnipesauke, named by the Abenaki tribe, translates to “Smile of the Great Spirit”. The name holds true, she is alive and full of spirit. My connection to Lake Winnipesaukee goes back many years, I grew up spending summers swimming in the lake, catching turtles and looking for loons; I spent winters skiing, ice skating and building forts deep in her woods. My experiences at the lake are immeasurable, nowhere else in the world have I had such intimacy with emotions that shaped my life, that shaped me into the person I am. From limitless love to immense loss, my family was formed here and broken here; I have worked hard to rebuild myself here.
As I child, my cousins, siblings and I would spend hours in the water until our lips turned blue, and when the water was too cold to explore, we spent hours adventuring in the woods until we were lost in a world that seemed so expansive and wild. My love for the outdoors grew here. I can proudly thank Lake Winnipesaukee for inspiring my career in the environmental field. She taught me how the loon sang, how the dragonfly flew, and how the moon reflected on the glassy water.
Winnipesaukee is a place a healing, a place of growth and a place of connection to oneself and to nature. I fear that she will lose her wild, that she will become populated and used. I fear that there will be no more woods to discover and that her waters to polluted to see the glistening sand. I fear that the loon wont sing and the dragonfly wont fly. I hope I can be a part of her preservation, to keep her wild and free. I hope I can inspire others to love a place like I love her, to learn from a place as I have learned from her.