Early Friday morning, finished with my few weekly minutes of food co-op working member hours, I stand at the window with an employee, watching the rain.
Rain in December. At home, my daughters are eating breakfast and complaining about the coal-colored day. Then yesterday, about the time I’m folding up my laptop and thinking of chopping a cabbage for dinner, my daughters return home, full of joy about a long run and exploring the edge of Lake Champlain.
End of December: I’d hung the laundered Christmas tablecloth on the clothesline to dry. December thaw in Vermont. Here’s a piece I wrote in State 14 about working for the census, long ago when I was a brand-new mama.
This cold winter night,
that old wooden-head buddha
would make a nice fire.
So much for summer. So long, summer, and diving off kayaks and swimming. Hello, autumn.
Here’s a few scenes from exploring glacier-cut Groton, Vermont.
The world? Moonlit
From the crane’s bill.
— Eihei Dōgen
At the northern end of the reservoir, we kayak north, where the water flows into the Black River, crossing the Canadian border on its meandering way to the Atlantic.
Surrounded by cattails, we stop at a beaver dam, listening to the spilling water. The late afternoon is sticky, the water’s too mucky and weedy for swimming, the girls who have been up early either for soccer practice or work are out-of-sorts, irritable.
What’s on the other side of that beaver dam? I edge near, curious, but there’s no way I’m getting around.
Back on the wide reservoir, we spread out. At the far end, a loon calls, which fails to impress either daughter. The teenager says, I’ve heard that before.
And yet, hungry and tired as both daughters are, neither seems in any rush to leave. Clouds jostle against Buffalo Mountain in the distance, promising rain, but not too quickly. The girls’ paddles lie across their kayaks as we drift.
Later that evening, as I lie on the couch, reading, rain begins to patter down. The older daughter goes out for a run. The younger daughter and I pull on raincoats and cut through the thorny blackberries, silently, our faces wet.
Photo by Molly S.