A few weeks ago the super nice people who we rent a cottage from in the summertime sent us an email. There was a cancellation, they said. Did we want it? We did. After a quick check in the coffers we decided we could afford one more little trip this year, so we lied to ourselves about being able to work remotely, grabbed Meg and Elliot and hit the road.
It was wonderful. The weather was as changeable as it always is the last week of summer, as the sun set each afternoon the temperature would begin to plunge (3 or 4 degrees, that’s 37 degrees, for my American friends) and by morning we’d be lighting a fire and getting our wool socks and sweaters on, only to have the temperature begin to soar, and by mid afternoon it would be gloriously warm (25 – 28 degrees, about 80 for you non-Celsius lot) and we’d be swimming in the lake and knitting in the sunshine.
(There’s a consequence to temperature swings like that, and it’s that the lake begins to cool off pretty fast. The water was absolutely frigid, or as Elliot would say every day as he dipped his little toes in before leaping wildly off the dock, “pretty frosty.”)
We kayaked and canoed every day and everyone got on board for my favourite, a family paddle. (Meg’s husband Alex was able to come for a day and a half so we had enough arms for a bit of adventure.)
Meg and I knit and knit and kayaked together, Elliot and I went for walks and gathered wildflowers and we made it through the 18 month mark since Charlotte was born and then died. We observed a year and a half of living in the Covid-times. I took deep breaths. I finished a pair of socks.
(Improvised pattern with afterthought heel, Yarn is “Purple Skein” from Must Stash Yarns.)
I made headway on Ken’s sweater.
On Sunday, when it was finally time to go, I went down to the lake and stood there, letting the sun shine hot on me, looking at the sparkles on the water and thinking about everything that’s happened in the last 18 months, and trying not to feel too sad about the end of summer or future-trip into what it will be like over the next few months as it becomes impractical to gather outside.
I’ve always loved summer so much, and it’s hard for me to let go of it in the best of years, never mind whatever hot mess this year is. I stood there, and I tried – for just a few minutes, to feel nothing but gratitude and happiness for what good luck I’ve had. Then I dove into the cold, cold water and swam far, far out, to say goodbye to the lake in the only way it understands.