In the essay "Once More to the Lake" E. White paints a picture of the inevitability of death. The essay is a reflection of White's visits to the lake year after year and his realization of the insignificant part he plays within this lifetime. Death is something that is universal to all living beings of the world. It is important to understand the natural progression of our life, by allowing one's self to accept this reality, we are liberated. Through this liberation, we can make the most of our moments and memories. .
Watching his own son at the lake White is reminded of the times he was his own son's age, doing the same things. Here we begin to understand the cycle of life repeating itself as it once did for White's father. White reveals how he understands the cycle of life in the last sentence of the essay states "As he buckled the swollen belt suddenly my groin felt the chill of death (15)." Death is a harsh reality and soon we all become memories and nothing else.
The essay describes White's childhood and the fond memories he had with his own father all those summers ago. Through his descriptions the reader is able to relive White's memories of childhood. In relation to life, White observes how nature has the power to preserve itself while humans progress towards their own inevitable ending. Through his son White sees himself and is reminded of the memories of his own father. White realizes that one day, long after he is gone, his own son will be sharing these same feelings with his children and seeing the cycle of life unfold. .
I am reminded about the first time I had ever been to a cemetery. Because I was so young, no one had properly explained to me why we were there. It was all so strange and new to me. I asked my father why all these people were here dressed in black and crying. Having to attempt an explanation of death to a six year old certainly put mortality into perspective for my father.