This summer has been filled with so much and yet at the same time, I feel as if nothing has happened except the rush of time. Can both things be true? Perhaps.
I have been so fortunate to have had time with family and friends this summer. It started in May, really, with a work reunion of sorts. How wonderful to see so many people with whom I had enjoyed working at the radio station, and meeting so people who still remembered me! That was a shock – pleasant, but still a shock. That same weekend, we were entertained by someone who really didn’t know me, only in a few passing meetings of a book club I helped organize several years ago and of which i was a member just a year. That was a lovely afternoon and early evening, drinks and nibbles and lots of “remember??”. I treasure time spent with old friends, re-inforcing bonds with new ones.
Time at the “cottage-on-wheels”, at Oliphant, followed over several weekends. So wonderful to see all my brothers, never together sadly, but one by one, sharing food and drink and much laughter, all in pretty much equal measure I think. I love my brothers who could not be more dissimilar in so many ways and yet they are all fierce in their family ties. They show it differently and they may sometimes resent it, but the bonds are there.
Labour Day weekend, still more family. My cousin Judith and her husband Ross, her brother Stewart and his wife Mary — family I hadn’t seen in so long I am embarrassed. All of them were exactly as they have always been — do I seem so to them? I’m not sure if I want it to be so or not! We were at Michael & Rita’s cottage, “The Point”, the cabin that once was our grandparents, and then our parents, and now belongs to them (and Michael’s siblings’ hearts too, I think). It was the first time Judith had been back there since our father’s death and she was a little teary, a lifetime’s worth of memories of that place flooding her heart. I so understand.
This place is magic. Judith and Stewart’s cottage is just up the beach from The Point, and From WhiteCaps, brother Max’s place, and a little further away from Belle Mer, which will be our cottage name when we finish building. We were children together who had golden summers of sunshine and fun. We were let loose onto the beach and into the water from sunrise to sunset and we flourished in it. I know bad things happened then, accidents and illnesses, difficulties for our parents, periods of boredom for us when the sun would give way to rain, but I don’t remember those things, not the way I do the joy.
And once more we were at The Point for a couple of days, invited by Michael & Rita to enjoy a couple of days quiet and work, a place to stay that had running water (not the cottage-on-wheels, that’s for sure!) while Jeff worked out taking out trees and putting in more gravel. It was so perfect… so… well there are no other words. In the afternoons, I sat on the dock and I listened to the water and I let some tears flow in both remembrance and pleasure. In the evenings, we drank wine with supper and watched the moon dance on the waves. I lived again a whole lifetime of summers these past few days, as a very full, very sweet, summer rushed to a close.