E.B. White conveys an attitude of a fairy tail nature that soon turns into an attitude of harsh reality. White slowly describes his love for the lake to express the lifeline of a person. He explains how people live a dual existence from children in their fairly tail land, to adults realizing the reality that everything isn't always perfect, as everything is constantly changing.
White uses a great amount of imagery to show just how "perfect this lake was with its "Cottages sprinkled around the shores, and how "undisturbed and peaceful it was. Not a single thing wrong with it. He, White, explains the sameness of all things around him, right down to the "dragonfly at the end of the fishing pole. It is constantly never changing.
When White gets hit with the reality of life, he uses a metaphor to better the understanding of life and what he felt out it. "Suddenly my groin felt the chill of death, White expressed as he realized he was his son, as he was his father. He realized that these is an end, and he has now taken his fathers role in life, and is closer to the end of his lifeline then he was when he was his sons age playing with the nearby children. In understanding that all things end, he used his "groin because it is a tenderness for everyone, just like the realization of the ending of one's life.
White looks at his son and sees himself, White looks at himself and sees his father, and White looks at life and finds the reality behind the fairy tale of every life. He realizes you are born, grow up, and die. White saw himself and his son, and then his father because life is a timeline; his father made his way up and down, he is on his way down, and his son is on his way up. Life is a timeline.