Well, we survived the “Excessive Heat Wave”. Maybe, that’s as hot as it’s going to get this summer. However, there is really nothing to complain about when you are lucky enough to live on this cold lake. I put the new percale swimming sheets on our bed, which I’d recently purchased from one of the end-of-summer sales which are now flooding my inbox, and sleeping felt instantly cooler. And, there was plenty of jumping in the lake. The water feels like cool velvet, and your core body temperature drops down for hours afterwards. On one of the evenings, when the air was thick with hot haze and not a ripple on the lake, we took out the old aluminum motor boat and puttered along the shoreline south of us, and made a spin around Wood’s Bay. Everybody’s docks and Adirondack chairs were full of people, and colorful inner tubes and rafts bobbed along the shoreline, its inhabitants partially submerged in the cold water. It always makes me happy to see people out enjoying their lake houses–just like it does when people decorate their homes at Christmas time. I get this all’s-right-in-the-world feeling, as if time has paused for an instant, and nobody is in pain, the world is at peace, and there is nothing but beauty and light. The air turned blue in lovely winds yesterday, and I could barely read my book on the porch, so enchanted by the sound of the waves and wind in the trees, and the smell of clean air. The heat crisis had passed.
It’s a new day, still coolish, but I can’t see across the lake because of smoke. Fires have started in Glacier National Park, Going to the Sun Road is closed on the west side, and Lake MacDonald Lodge has been evacuated. Deja vu all over again, when Glacier was ablaze this time last year, and Sperry Chalet perished in the inferno. Our new normal, is what we all mutter. But, oh, it is difficult to adjust, when summers are already so short. We are nearing the mid-point of August, and about to pass over summer’s apex. I love the image of being on the highest seat of a Ferris wheel, when it pauses, before its gentle swing back down.
“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn…”
― Natalie Babbitt from Tuck Everlasting
It’s dark now at bedtime, and I am already lighting the lamps. When I look through the slats of my window shutters, as I go to sleep, I like watching the occasional boat when it motors past our house, lights on, making its way back to port. It’s time to start thinking about coming into home again, as soon enough, there will be that chill of autumn. But, not just yet. Not yet.