There is something so magical about being on the water near sunset. my neighbor suggested we get out for a paddle, if it wasn’t too hot for me.
And by 7 in the evening, the day was cooling off, a light breeze gently rippled the water, but the lake was calm, which made for easy paddling.
A swallow hovered over us, then flitted off, back to its business of eating bugs. The water lilies had shut their flowers up for the night. Ripening blueberries hung out over the water’s edge, and we grabbed just a few.
The turtles had already settled back in for the night, except for the one whose head bobbed at the surface near where our boats sliced through the water. As quickly as he popped to the surface, he dropped safely below, and headed onto his turtlish activities.
We circled around the island, plowing through the water lilies, and once we’d completed our circuit, it simply felt too nice to head right back to shore.
We paddled together once again alongside the island, but when confronted with the mass of lily pads, we turned for the shore.
After scrambling out of the boats, we stood on the hill overlooking the water and watched as the sun slid behind the trees.
One bird flew into the branches near the water, but since it was backlit, I am not expert enough to discern what type it might have been–robin, mourning dove, or other bird.
I am often guilty of saying I hate summer, but on evenings such as this, I am reminded that I do not hate summer. I struggle with the beastly heat that stops my legs from working, threatens me with seizures, and keeps me hidden away fro the noonday heat. I also say that berry picking redeems the summer for me. Yup, the wild blueberries are ripening now, along with those available at local u-pick places. These are the joys of summer. Feeling like there is no rush, no “have tos” to be tended to. Paddling about a small lake, with the only goal being to enjoy the evening, to smell the nearby woodland, to listen to the birds, and wait for the sun to go down–that’s a pretty perfect way to spend some time, in my book.
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.