An Analysis of "Once More to the Lake".
The smell of an old wood cabin or the feel of a cool lake breeze against one's face can bring back many fond memories for many people. The senses, in their own way, can physically bring back memories that seem so real you can get lost in your own imagination. E. B. White tells in the essay "Once More to the Lake" about how his trip back to a childhood vacation spot not only took him to the lake, but also sent his imagination back in time.
As a boy, White and his family would vacation at a lake in Maine. For the entire month of August they would leave the complexity of everyday behind and enjoy the simple life along the shore. They returned summer after summer because, despite getting ringworms and rolling over canoes, "none of [them] ever thought there was any place in the world like that lake in Maine"(142).
Years later, longing for the "placidity" of his lake, White returned with his son(142). During the journey there, his thoughts wondered about how time might have changed things. He thought about the clear early mornings, when the lake was cool and motionless, and how he would sneak out before anyone else awoke. The "sweet smell of the outdoors" also filled his memory as he pictured himself canoeing along the shore.
On arrival he could tell things were pretty much as he had left them; though the excitement of arriving was not as intense. As a child White and his family would make the ten-mile trip from the train station to the lake in a farm wagon. As they pulled up the " shouts and cries of other campers coming to help you unload your trunks" was a joyous sound. "Nowadays you sneaked up in your car and parked it under a tree near the camp and took out the bags in five minuets," complains White(145). .
Lying in bed the first morning he knew for sure things were going to be the same as before. The sound of his boy sneaking out early in the morning, just as he had done, sent his imagination wandering.