May 26, 2009
…they came unto a land
In which it seeméd always afternoon.
—Tennyson, The Lotos-eaters
On Sunday, we attended a surprise anniversary party for our friends Craig and Ethel. They own and operate a summer resort known as The Cape on a lake not far from here.
We hadn’t visited the place for a long time. During the 80’s, however, we spent a week or two of nearly every summer at The Cape. In 1983, the year Elizabeth was three, we stayed in the Honeymoon Cottage. That’s where I took this picture on Sunday, and the sight and sound and smell of the place carried me back to that long ago summer.
The Honeymoon Cottage dates from a time when it was possible to build right on the water. The cottage is triangular and its narrow point actually extends over the water. The doorway shown in the picture opens to a small porch. Sitting on the porch is like being in a boat.
In the picture, the late afternoon sun streams through the windows, and that’s how I remember both the lake and the Honeymoon Cottage. No radio, no television, no telephone, no newspaper. We spent our days on the beach, or reading in the shade, walking in the woods or paddling a canoe along the shore. There were long conversations, afternoon naps, and intimate evening meals with family and friends. At night we fell asleep to the sound of the lake lapping against the dock. In the morning, we lingered on the deck with cups of coffee.
When it was time to go home, we were never ready to leave.