Columbus Day at Walden

I looked ominously at the clouds as they crowded the early morning sky. It is Columbus Day and I expect sun. Yesterday I graduated to my full length wetsuit, though I hadn’t ruled out the possibility I would down grade to my shortie if the sun and air allowed it. At least in the next week anyway. Today didn’t.

The pond was placid, the beach bustling. Large woolly looking picnic rugs laid upon the sand. A group of young people sitting quietly around the fringes of the rug. And along the stone wall, where the ‘regular’ swimmers put their shoes, towels, backpacks, clothes to jump into to warm after swimming, today room only for one pair of shoes and towel. The long flat slab atop the pebble stone wall laden with pots and pans and plastic picnic boxes. Somebody’s lunch well planned.

Cathy and I leave the clatter of voices and dishes and in wetsuit caps and long black suits wade in. We swim together, separate. Each knowing we do better without the pressure of keeping up or slowing down. A sign of friendship. Something we could all remember as we pull and tug at each other, forgetting to be ourselves.

Once more at the beach I look at the vast expanse of grey water below grey sky. Then I turn toward the shore to see a small dingy marooned on the sand and beside it a man dressed in britches, coat with tails and a hat with a tall crown. He wears a satchel over one shoulder, and close to him a woman in wide hooped petticoats and a shawl talks to some children. I wonder. And I wish, that like the onlookers on the sand, I had my camera.

The Musketaquid on Walden sand

The Musketaquid on Walden sand

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