2000

It was the first time the whole family went on a camping trip together. The mosquitoes weren’t even that bad up in the middle of Haliburton that July evening as I walked back to the campsite after brushing my teeth in the washroom. I heard a strange sound coming from the property off the bend in the road, the site with the public dock.

Against my better judgement I took a few steps down the path to see what it was, and saw a faint figure in a white t-shirt standing not-quite knee deep in the water. He was sobbing profusely, only pausing to take deep breaths and look out at the darkening horizon.

I went back to my campsite and told my parents about it, returning with my dad.

“Is everything alright?” he asked the man in the water.

Startled and embarrassed, the man turned to us. “I’m ok, I’m ok,” he said almost apologetically. “Life just gets so hard sometimes.”

“If you need any help, come by the campsite up the road,” my dad offered.

The man thanked my dad and trudged away through the water. We didn’t see him again that night, or for the rest of our stay.