One last weekend
Pulled from summer’s grasp into the chilly hands of fall
Our gear, gathered from the jumble of adventures past, rejoices to venture forth just one more time
The lake, discovered by friends who camped there first and generously shared the story of its wild, empty shores
The surge on windy crests of white to find our home, where some good soul has left us firewood beneath a tiny roof of birchbark
Dreams of swimming lie buried under wooly hats and added layers and we scramble over jumbled rocks to a woodland trail instead
A garter snake, like us, seems unwilling to surrender the feisty warmth of summer and defends his trail with fierce tenacity until we slip away
Hotdogs drip, above the glowing coals, beneath the toasting buns, and we eat with gusto
Later, the wind has calmed and water gently laps the shore. Does it dream of summer’s radiance or long for peaceful snowbound sleep?
In quiet unity, we write, we draw, we scoot ever closer to the living glow that wrestles with the icy night, as stars emerge
Dawn pulls us from the best of sleep, as crazy, restless calls surround our narrow point. Then, paddling out, the echoes become a bouncing dot of black and white, a loon to say farewell until summer comes again.
(by Laurie Chandler, Tunk Lake, Maine, September 2016)