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Survival of Summer
by Maricia Mlynek


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 A Whale Of A Hunt For Rest

Andy and I made a recent jaunt to the region called Deep Creek Lake, Md., a special retreat for us that is full of fun times and memories. It is the place we escape to with our beloved friends: Scott, Jenn, Brian, Mellody, Tim and newest addition, five-month-old Rachel (AKA, Sweet Baby Rae). Over the years, we have found our time in Deep Creek to be like the balm of Gilead. With the state of our busy summer, we were in need of rest, and I was on the hunt for a respite, like Ahab for his whale.


Though the time away was only a weekend, it was time that was spent being still. There are activities that go along with every Deep Creek trip. Jenn and I assembled a puzzle, we grilled out, we played games in the evening, there was the occasional movie, we did some hiking, and we relaxed on the porch overlooking the lake.


It is rare to find a group of people that are comfortable simply being together. This group of friends is a true blessing. There is no necessary maintenance, no laborious conversations, and no effort in our time together. They are the kind of people that you can sit with all evening and say not a word, but when the moon has risen and it is bedtime, you walk away feeling as if you have had the most enlightening conversation. I love that, and I love them.

Left to right,kneeling, Tim Busch, Brian Lewis (holding Rachel); standing, Maricia Mlynek, Andy Mlynek, Mellody Walburn, Jenn Lewis and Scott Schenerlein.


We ventured into a new pilgrimage. We took a pontoon boat out and investigated the shores of Deep Creek. It was a perfect afternoon. There was a storm moving into the area that made the weather wonderful. The sun hid behind many forming clouds, and the wind was a cool gust that made the mist from the water chilly. It was the kind of day that would make a sea captain feel alive and challenge a first mate on the hunt for Moby Dick. I could imagine Ishmael saying, “His courage was one of the great staples of the ship, like beef or flour. There, when required, and not to be foolishly wasted.”


One of the great staples of our ship was not courage, but contentment, which, I agree with Ishmael, should not be foolishly wasted. We live in an age where everything is fast, convenient, and instant. I find it exhausting. On the waters of Deep Creek Lake, among my dear friends, life was good. My hunt was successful.


I can hear the scoffs of those who are always busy. I know that some roll their eyes at the sight of relaxing. I am aware that many struggle if not on task and constantly moving toward a goal. I say that the sea you sail is a sea of barren emptiness. Take sail in a more inviting sea. As for me, I hunt that precious quiet time. Like Ahab, “I’ll follow him around the Horn, and around the Norway maelstrom, and around perdition’s flames, before I give him up.”


It has been a long and restful journey. The boat has come to dock, and it is time to march on the land of our labors. No guilt is felt in a weekend of rest. Time spent making people better friends is not time wasted. “By heavens man, we are turned round and round in this world, like yonder windlass, and fate is the handspike.” I left Deep Creek thinking about the truth of Captain Ahab’s words, but feeling thankful to have seen a better ending to my hunt than his.


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