For ten years my wife and I lived overlooking Lake Ronkonkoma, Long Island, New York’s largest freshwater lake; largest and one its most beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I spent a year taking over four hundred pictures for a Photo Journal. Photos at all hours of the day and from a variety of locations around its perimeter. Photos in the early morning when the mist hung just above the water line creating an almost ghostly haze. Photos of the fall rainbow of colors as the trees along the banks became a palate only nature could create before the black lace of the bare branches cast their shadows on the still water during the beginnings of winter. And as the freeze turned the water from liquid to solid and ice boats traversed the lake in circles or raced across its diameter as the season raced toward spring and the golden rays of the sun bouncing off the surface. Or as the sunsets cast themselves in glorious panoramas filling the lake and sky with color. But we never saw Ronkonkoma, the Indian princess for whom the lake is named and who, legend has it, committed suicide in a canoe in the middle of the lake after being denied her true love by her father. Or her lover who, like Romeo and Juliet, once he saw his love’s dead body, followed her in death.
Since then, and for two hundred years, the Lady of the Lake, as she is known, has taken one adult male in revenge for the man she was not allowed to love in life.
Of all of the photos I have none include Princess Ronkonkoma nor did we ever see her from the window of our house.
Maybe Princess Ronkonkoma will reveal herself one day, but her lake will remain a thing of beauty and we can only hope that she finds the happiness we enjoyed from the lake she christened with her name.