We always go to my friend Mary’s house for Labor Day.
We’ve been doing that for twenty-five years.
She has a house on a lake in the Berkshires.
Motor boats, canoes, kayaks, noodles, raft, dock…everything that comprises a lake house.
My daughter lily has always spent summer holidays there.
Yesterday, as she sipped her wine sitting on the screened-in porch, she said, “ok….now it’s summer. I’m here at the lake.”
I know what she means.
These are the markers in our lives.
Earlier Lily had gone wakeboarding. Robert drove the boat as he’d done for decades. I was in the familiar left seat to spot if she fell.
She didn’t. Never does. She navigated the waters zig-zagging as she always had. I found I had to rutch around in my seat. My neck, in need of oil, not spinning as it did when she was ten. The lake now built up with a Girl Scout camp and fancy houses never imagined when we first toured the lake.
The little children of our early lake days were parents now. Their little children scattering legos and candy-coated popcorn as they circumnavigated the house.
Mary and I weren’t alone in the kitchen anymore. Spinning salad greens and frying tomatoes. The next generation had gently stepped in to craft the pies and handle the tabletop as we had taught and they had so creatively executed.
We had all morphed into our older selves. The next generation. Our children becoming us. Their children becoming them.
Floorboards had weathered. Screens had frayed.
The lake, unaware of time, continued to lap the rocks as it had twenty-five years ago.