Humans change quickly. My boy is officially a tween now, and by the time we arrived at the cottage he’d had another year of summer camp under his belt. The camp’s out-trip to Georgian Bay and a canoe-camping weekend with his dad had produced a confident paddler excited to show me his new strength and his ability to sit in the stern and steer. He was no longer a passenger, but a driver.
I am a little bit older, too. And better at Sodoku.
There was a new family of ducks, the ducklings already almost as big as their parents, but that seems right at the end of the season.
They swam together but independently, wide spaces between, not clustered closely for safety and comfort.
*****The sun rose more southerly in late-August compared to high summer, as it daily shortened its arc across the northern hemisphere.
This year our visit was timed with August’s Blue Moon.
Night did not fall but rose like a stage curtain as the moon ascended centrestage, fat and orange on the horizon, then growing whiter and smaller the higher it climbed...
...until, at dawn, it greeted the rising sun.
The Morning Moon—pale and silent and lonely in the west.
********Our days in this quiet place rushed on as the sun and moon chased each other across the sky.
Our cottage time was coming to an end. As was summer.
I knew that soon we would be back to a city of hard surfaces, and back to school, back to routines.
The canoe was beached, ready for the boathouse.
Days were hot but mornings were cool and the signs clear: dew clung to newly fallen leaves long after dawn,
and in the Technicolor day, sumachs were singed scarlet and burned against a sky that lied, singing to me of a summer everlasting.
Before I knew what I was about, I stood in wonderment at my last lakeside sunrise of the summer. It was a gift, I knew, a parting gift. A promise. It said: I am here, I, the sky, the water, the rock and trees and the living mist, I am always here.
And the mist blew from the next cove, shape-shifting, advancing always, but never arriving.
Until finally it was consumed by brilliant blazing fire, the life-giving fire that warms all that’s upon the earth.
Every day that flaming ball rose, whether I slept in or rose with it, worshipped it or rushed on to make coffee, it rose in glory regardless of me. Here in the city, and there, too, the same sun rises.
******Later, the car packed, all of our lovely visitors long gone, just me and the tween hovering between this magical place and the trip home, between summer and something else, there was time for one more throw of a toy airplane off the dock.
to wonder at what lies below.
Sometimes, when we look under the surface at just the right time into the just the right spot, we get a glimpse of the life submerged, revealed by a shaft of sun that reaches down and turns the depths into a gold dream.
I am home now. In the city. Sad to have left the cottage behind, but grateful to have been there. And I hold the hope that there will be time again to roast a marshmallow...
and to bask again under a fat full moon. A moon that made me wonder, does gravity pull that mysterious orb to us or by some magnetic magic does it pull us, do we gravitate to it? Something that rises in my chest at the sight of the moon tells me the latter is as true as the former.
There are answers here, in witnessing and participating in the daily natural planetary rhythms.
I will go back again and again. I must.