Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Ode to Late Summer
Walked down to the dock through a gauntlet of spider webs. After the kids stop running the path between water and house, when the sun blinks closed the day, and the motors stop their incessant churning — then the spiders get to work.
A duck breaks my still reverie, calling to his mate. I pause from the delicate, frustrating task of removing fine silver homes from my shirt.
From where I sit I can see across one tiny portion of the great expanse of Grand Lake. Two peninsulas frame our inlet and, rather symmetrically, one egret sits on each, facing each other. One I can see in perfect silhouette, he's in the shade of the rising sun. The other, his white feathered body catches the full glinty glory of the sunrise. I wonder if they are siblings—the Mary and Martha of the avian world. Two disparate souls connected by a body. Or is that carrying things too far?
The one in shadow appears to be lengthening; maybe he's aware of my gaze.
Fish flip up, breaking the surface, taunting the anglers who've jut left the inlet in disappointment. This always make me giggle, if if I'm in on the joke.
It's always quiet at Grand on Sunday mornings, but this morning there seems to be a late summer melancholy kicking about. The promise of summer boat rides, the plans with friends, the ease of days spent in swimsuits, eating the fat, juicy fruit of summer - it's all gone. It happened, for sure. And it was good. So good.
Now homework awaits our return home. Piles of paper demand attention. Kids have needs in so many different areas I feel I can't summon enough of the right responses at the right times to meet all their inner unspoken but totally obvious needs.
Push it back. Scrape off the worry like so many webs clinging to me. I'm here. I'm at the lake. I'm on the dock. Alone. I can breathe, and sit, and think. This is where I can see these children, my children, for who they really are. When they don't know I'm studying them as they play.
I woke with a pall of melancholy myself. So strong I felt I could have burst into tears. I still have a sense of the ending. That's inevitable, normal even. Walking a line between pleasant memories and the bitterness of walking away from them.
And there's today. All of it. I see a spiderweb I managed not to destroy. A giant fish jumps next to me, reminding me to smile. My daughter's feet slap on the wood of the dock, then she settles into the hammock, quiet for a short time. I'm alone. I'm not alone.