Lynn's cabin

Highland Lake Sunrise

As always, one of the biggest highlights of the cabin is getting up early to watch the sun rise over Highland Lake. This time I went out and took a few pictures of the still water before going back for the dogs and letting them send ripples all the way across as they chased sticks and ducks.
Once I went and got them, they troubled the surface of the water and had a grand old time trying to convince me to throw the stick a few more times. It was warm for an early Maine morning in October, but my hands still chilled quickly.

So poor Jax was left hoping for a twentieth toss that I wasn't prepared to give him.
Comet was a bit more able to amuse himself by splashing around and chewing the bushes that hang out over the water.

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Life Indelible, Stick Inedible

We let the guys play in the lake every morning we stayed at Lynn’s, and they never seemed to grow tired of their hijinks. Perhaps if we lived there year-round (I’m considering buying lottery tickets), they’d grow blasé about having a whole lake to play in, but as it was, each morning was like Christmas for dogs, unlike actual Christmas, which, if you think about it, is rather boring for dogs.


At the end of the summer, I posted a quote from an E. B. White essay about returning to a lake. It included a lovely phrase about the “pattern of life indelible,” and here we are returning to a lake again and again each day as if it’s the first time.

Of course, part of that joy, part of that indelible pattern is, of course, chewing the inedible. Only a dog’s wisdom would choose the sticks that drop like manna over all costly vanities.

On behalf of all four of us, Comet would like to thank Lynn for giving us free run of her cabin for the weekend, and he would like to make reservations for a future date sometime soon, oh pretty, pretty please.

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A Warm Chill

Our friend Lynn bought a cabin in Maine a few years ago, and with great grace and generosity, she has mentioned to us a number of times that we can make use of it.

So, this weekend, we finally did. I’ve split the trip into three posts, so this first just deals with that first glorious morning when we woke up lakeside.

Lynn’s cabin is on Highland Lake, three miles away from the lake I spent a dozen summers at as a kid and as a young man. For me, a return to a Maine lake has a special significance, a weight of memory so vast that the air has a cool molasses quality, as if everything is slowed just a little. It gives a bright razor clarity to the smooth stones at the lake’s bottom and a sweetness to the dust of dry pine needles.


The dogs, of course, don’t indulge in this kind of nostalgic savoring of each slow detail. As I stood on the lakeshore in the cool air and the warm sun of the early day, they made whitewater and furfire out of the stillness and the yellow morning light.

I have learned to savor the slow creak of joints and the fog that follows me for the first few minutes of a precious day, when there’s no work to be done, no traffic to beat to the highway, no counting of quarters for the cup of cheap coffee that chases off the fog.

Instead, I stood on a lakeshore for an hour in the Maine fall and let air that was just a bit too cold for comfort blow through my bedhead and carry off that sleepy fog. I was jealous for a moment that the dogs could splash into a Maine lake as I have loved to do so many times, and I even considered jumping in myself for more than a moment.

It was enough, though, to watch them, to be chilled by the air and thawed by the sun, cooled by the water they splashed as they ran by, but warmed always by the sight of so much joy.

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