Kyle, Owen, and Meera’s Great-Great-Grandfather Builds the Original Dock at The Cottage
A gentle breeze over the water, cool and fresh; the sound of laughter. Cottage screen-door slap-cracks against the jamb, down old stone steps, one, two, feet in splash, brisk, but not bad. Better to fly off the end of the dock, slight jolt; swim to first rock, then second. Catch the laughter before it drifts away.
Just the quiet boat rocking when the motor is cut; hints of being vulnerable in the face of such a lake. The water is wide, deep and clear, the bottom is down there somewhere, a little scary. Head-first in, over the side. Heads bobbing up. Over the side, again. Can the boys really be only seven? Can she really be only three? Towel off, quick, it’s cold in the breeze. We don’t drift too far in the wind; the motor starts without any problem.
Casting far out, but if you look close, the fish are under the dock. Hold still, it’s about to bite. Do we keep it and eat it; it’s big? Throw it back. Tears to let it go, but happy to free it too. Ten more fish caught, all released. We try to figure out how long a fish memory is – will we catch the same ones next year?
Catching the Mountain Washington DC. Mini-golf, go karts, Weirs. It’s a high fly ball to center field; sun drenched from the day. Sitting on laps for a first-ever night game on TV. It’s a loss for the Red Sox, but a win for us all.
Lunch, dinner, lobsters and sweet corn. Wine, water, juice. Sustenance, a break from the daily grind of food prep for Heather. Bacon and pan-friend english muffins for breakfast. S’mores at night, ice cream in Wolfeboro across the lake. Coffee whenever. Grace.
There were recent updates, but it’s still the cottage. There is a dishwasher now, and even a washer in the basement. The stone fireplace is marked 1941, handcrafted like the one outside. Like the foundation of the cottage.
The evolution of many years, and generations of hands, but it still feels the same. Fun, lightness. Grounding, healing. A wholeness we struggle to maintain in our daily lives. A reminder of how we love, of how we live. Of how lucky we are. Lift the porch windows, let the breeze in. Gratitude.
The work goes on; on the backs of work done before us. The work of ensuring that places of healing continue to be a strong presence in our lives. Reminders of who we want to be when the rest falls away.