The Summer of Lasts

So we’re moving away.  In the near future, I hope to  discuss where we are going and why.  Our wonderful  homestead in Maine is up for sale.

Consequently, this has been a summer of lasts.  The last time my children and grandchildren will experience Maine’s magic with their grandparents.  Believe me, we made the most of it, and everyone had a wonderful time hiking, kayaking, fishing, swimming, cliff jumping, camping, and toasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the campfire.  I will always treasure the special bond we developed over the years thanks to Maine.  Even if the youngest ones don’t remember precise details, they will always remember that they shared good times with us, and even if they can’t quite remember why, they will always know that they carry a special place in their heart for Maine summers.

Since the weather has been so warm, we’ve tried to make the most of hiking to our favorite spots, as well as trying new ones.  Because of the warmth, Fall is late getting started with almost no leaves turning color.  Our hummingbirds finally migrated away this past Sunday and I cleaned out the feeder and put it away.  This weekend it is supposed to rain – – a welcome relief to the most serious drought we’ve experienced in the seven years we’ve been here.  Forty-degree nights will accompany the rain.

That’s when I realized today was my last chance, perhaps forever, to swim in Kewaydin Lake, my favorite of the many lakes surrounding my house, and I was determined to make the most of it.  At the edge of Kewaydin Lake is a small dam, and the water spills out into a rushing stream below, eventually flowing to the Atlantic Ocean.  With my dog, Truman, we swam and swam in the lake for 45 minutes, basking in the sun-warmed top layer and me enjoying the sharp coolness of the deeper areas on my lower extremities.  It’s unlikely that we’ll enjoy another week of daytime temperatures in the 80s with nights in the 50s anytime soon, so I really cherished every moment.

To swim in Kewaydin is an almost holy experience, similar to immersing in a mikva, a Jewish ritual pool.  The purity of the clear cleansing waters, the beautiful surroundings of mountains rimming the lake, the blue sky, the quiet, and the solitude (for rarely are other swimmers there) make it truly special.

Just as I left the water, a woman approached the edge of the dam.

“You don’t remember me, do you?” she asked.

I confessed I didn’t.

“We met last year at the transfer station.  We started talking, and exchanged phone numbers.  We were going to go walking together to get some exercise.”

From the moment she reminded me where we had met, I remembered the circumstances very well.  She was a lifelong resident of our town.  Her husband had recently died, leaving her feeling completely helpless, lonely and bereft.  I had suggested that we make time to walk on a weekly basis, knowing that she needed to unburden herself and that I could be a sympathetic ear, and we could both benefit from the exercise.  She was a genuinely nice and gentle person.  But after multiple attempts and conflicting schedules, we could never seem to make walking together happen; and we simply fell out of touch.  And now, here she was.

“I come here often,” she said.  “I’ve been walking regularly, but I always end up here.  It gives me comfort to visit Dennis,” she said.  “You see, this is where I put him a few months ago:  over the dam,” she said.  She excused herself “to go be with Dennis” and walked about 20 feet ahead, sat at the edge, and immersed herself in deep thought.

It took a moment for the meaning of her words to sink in.

Her husband’s cremated remains were in Lake Kewaydin, spread exactly where I loved most to swim!

This was my last swim at Kewaydin, and like so many things about Maine, it was certainly momentous.  Talk about Final Closure!

If you are interested in finding out more about our Maine home for sale, please go to www.MaineWoodsHomeForSale.com.

 

 

 

7 responses to this post.

  1. I hope the move isn’t due to anyone’s poor health. As I made a luggage tag for a dear friend, I thought of what I wanted to say from the heart …. and the same applies to you: Wherever you go will be wonderful, because YOU will be there.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Bluma Bier on September 22, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    It was a happy surprise to meet again; in New England this time. Our paths crossed twice. I will miss knowing you are in that lovely house on a hillside surrounded by White Mountains and lakes that are more than bodies of water. The history and everyday life in your part of Maine is colorful and poignant. It was a gift to share a little of your life there. And Tanner is be part of some of those memories as well. Thank you for sharing Maine with me. with us.

    Reply

  3. It was a privilege and joy for me to see Tanner have so much fun an with such newfound vitality when he swam that last time in our lakes. That memory will be with me always, and I thank you for letting me be a part of it.

    Reply

  4. Posted by m. f. la on September 23, 2016 at 1:46 am

    charming post, as are so many of your blogposts. What magical gifts you gave your grandchildren w/ these summers. I enjoy vicariously. : ) mf la (I’m sure all those ashes (poor Dennis) have long gone “downstream,” somewhere………..)

    Reply

  5. I am sad to read that you are leaving Maine, but I hope you will continue your blog or create a new one for your next life chapter?

    Reply

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