This postcard from the lake takes us on a walk the two days after Labor Day -- which is my favorite time there. The lake is still warm and I still do my swim -- gulping a bit on the first "full wet" but soon feeling very comfortable indeed as I swim my "lap route" -- several cottages down and back. The jet ski riders have gone back to school (or work), traffic is practically non-existent. It's quiet and -- if you are a lucky as I was -- you have all the glory of summer weather without the things that get under your skin a bit!
But you can tell that summer is nearing it's end. It isn't just that many of the cottages have closed up, their trash cans neatly by the side of the road.
It "looks" different. The light has a different quality, one I can neither explain nor comprehend, yet feel and see and know to be true.
The sunsets are rosier, compared to the more brilliant oranges of July and August.
And the sun sets in a different place in the sky -- more to the south. How did it move so subtly that I didn't notice?
My walk takes me past a swamp and if you look closely you'll see bits of red and falling leaves.
And of course, the goldenrod is out in full force, lending its cheerful color to the day.
I notice the Queen Anne's Lace has withered. And farther on the path, I see the ferns are drying and turning brown.
The squirrels can dash in safety across the road and chase one another up and down the trees. The cars on my little road are few and far between.
The turn-around point on my journey is the public bathing beach. To go there and then return "the long way" takes me on a circular route that measures to two miles. Often you will see seagulls perched on the posts in the water and perhaps a swimmer or two.
But I do see what has become a familiar sight. Every day, every walk, I see this duo. A father, son and baby. Three generations. I don't know their story, though we pass greetings. The dad, perhaps, is retired. The son and baby live with him? I never see them with anyone else. And it's after Labor Day, yet there they were in the morning. I don't know if I want to know -- I make up much more poignant stories in my mind.
At any rate, I love the closeness of these two and imagine that they are having wonderful conversations in this time. Building a powerful bond that will last a lifetime. Or perhaps strengthening one already there.
Along the way I pass the Little Free Library. A month ago there was something I thought I might trade out for -- but while I can't remember the title, there was nothing there this time that pulled my interest.
And, I am present to something rather rare -- a train passing on the rails. I've only seen two all summer, though I'm sure there are more. But they are infrequent, so seeing one transports me to the day when my mother spent the summers here as a child -- and my grandfather would take the train each weekend. Not a freight train, of course -- it was a different day. Yet how they must have loved the sound of that train bring their papa back to the lake.
I leave you with yet another sunset.
When I return to the lake again, I will see the colors of red and gold and deep maroon on the trees. It will be autumn. I wonder. Where will the sun set then?
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