The deep blue greens of a day,
Late summer and fading.
A season spent like birthday money
Earned in February by two souls
Dreaming in aquamarine.
For the last time this year, I put on the same black swimsuit, the same tan shorts and white shirt, and the same dirty baseball cap that has become my entire wardrobe of “lakewear.” For the last time this year, I climbed the boat’s ladder, hoisted the cooler, and was met with the smell I have come to know as summer – life jacket and sunscreen and warm fiberglass.
The trees are changing from emerald to auburn at the lake. The beach is empty. Water skiers have been replaced by fishermen. The water is still. It’s like going into a diner fifteen minutes before closing time; everything is tidy and put away and you get the feeling no one wants you there. The lake is ready to be at rest.
This stillness, this passing away of summer, made for a wonderful afternoon. We anchored, my captain and I, in a tucked away cove. A favorite spot. We ate a quiet dinner. We read. We sat with our arms around each other and watched the sun sink low in the sky. Just as I contemplated my gratitude for this day, for this place, it was time to go.
As Gregg motored to the dock, I felt the last of the lake breezes across my face. I felt acutely that summer was gone. It was a not so gentle reminder that time passes far too quickly. The lake, like me, has lost it’s summer exuberance. I made a mental list of things I no longer am, things I no longer can do, qualities I no longer possess. Time has changed me.
What remains at the lake in place of summer is remarkably beautiful and peaceful. Its colors are richer. Its stillness runs deeper. I only hope the same can be said of what remains of me, after 45. This year has been a transition in many ways. I have an empty nest now. I have become a grandmother. I feel as though I am physically falling apart. I have, until now, only known strength, boldness and impetuousness. I don’t know what will be on the other side of this season.
I only know that today, on the boat, In a quiet cove, I was warmed by an autumn sun and felt completely at peace with my husband beside me and a good book in my hand.