The colorful valley known as Luxton Lake is a place I have called my home ever since I was a child. It was a retreat from the city, a parallel dimension, with little in common from the bustle of New …
The colorful valley known as Luxton Lake is a place I have called my home ever since I was a child. It was a retreat from the city, a parallel dimension, with little in common from the bustle of New York City aside from my parents’ faces. When I was a child, it was a community, seemingly at the end of a golden era, headed toward tired abandonment and shuttered windows.
For those who are unfamiliar, the story of “Lucky Lake” is anything but fortunate. A short riverfront community divided into several hundred parcels in which only a small fraction was built upon is evidence enough of its developmental shortcomings. Private roads falling into disrepair, continually eroded after repeated community efforts at reconstruction, frustrate its residents. There was once a lake adorned with boats; they no longer float but rot hidden below trees on what was once a glorious shoreline. It appears all hope dried up as our community’s central exhibit, Luxton Lake, became little more than a river after the demolition of our dam.
But it did not.
The consequences of our global plight over the last two years have undoubtably affected everyone in every corner of the earth. Returning to nature and falling in love again with this town, its land and its people is afforded to me entirely by the majesty which is Luxton Lake. Life is anything but gone from this community and the nature entangled with it. I am not the only one who feels this way.
The population along our river has significantly increased over the last couple years. The diaspora of city folk seems to have now adopted the role of full-time river-folk. And with new blood pumping through the veins and streams of this small section of the Ten Mile River, new life has been born.
I never imagined myself living upstate more than part-time. But the forced migration out of the city brought me to what I proudly now call my home. Walking between the trees on trails older than me and watching the beavers swim in the water in a pool where no eyes have fallen for decades appeals in an extra-special way. The quiet and the dark riddled with the sounds of screaming coyotes instills fear and curiosity. The comfort and warmth of a fire on a cold night was always special to me, yet lost over time. And I am not alone in this feeling of reinvigoration. I see it throughout my community and the new members it has (re)adopted.
Walking past the old dam brings a conflux of disappointment and gratitude, thinking of what was, whilst reminding myself of what I still have here. The “Luxton Lake was here” tag, graffitied across the decaying ruins of the dam, invoke a bittersweet sense of pride. Although Luxton Lake may be somewhat of a forgotten community, there are more and more who remember it in new ways.
Matthew Sgritto lives at Luxton Lake with Gayle, Noctus and Luna.
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