This is the last week. The last days of this summery dream, warm nights under stars and swimming in lakes, oceans, talking about photography, waking up on couches or in tents, working with the warmest people who make me laugh until tears run from my eyes. Crickets at night and families of ospreys fluttering in the treetops in the morning, breakfast outside barefoot in the morning, fresh wildflowers, always. Pancakes and peanut butter and buckets of roadside berries still warm from the sun.
This weekend we were driving and golden-magenta light filtered horizontal through the trees, wisps of fog nestling into valleys and hovering over the ground, wild winds tearing through the treetops. Spencer says he made a topographic map in his head and just drove. We were running from the car to catch it before it slipped away; flip-flops in the blueberry field making wine under our heels, splashes of juice slippery on the hillside as valleys unfolded below, everything purple and pink in the blazing sunset. We clambered breathlessly to the top of a granite hill, feet stained purple, windswept and awestruck. The sun slipped below the horizon.
“…And there it goes,” said Spencer softly. There it went. There are no photographs.
The next morning I awoke early and baked a cake. The legendary cake, my family’s cake, the cake of every birthday and every celebration my whole life, ever. I baked it for Spencer, and for Sunday, and because it was the last weekend and life was beautiful and every second precious, and soon enough friends drove in from distant towns to share it with us.
A rock from Phil’s driveway, Waldoboro.
When we were driving we found a warm spot by the lake where there was no one but sweet warm pine needles blanketing the ground and we read aloud from Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. Light from the water danced amongst the trees.
A thunderstorm approaching behind my house.
Spencer with Cory and Kate, and their kids.
Last night was the official farewell dinner for my beloved Team Program. Nancy and Annelise ordered me a beautiful gluten-free chocolate cake, with chocolate mousse filling and forget-me-nots on top. We ate the most delicious food, drank summery beer, tasted the cake, and went to see the incredible Peter Turnley lecture at the Rockport Opera House. His ultimate message was about letting everything you do be motivated by the belief that, no matter how hard, life can be wonderful and beautiful.
And so it was that every meal this week should be accompanied by an extra dose of sugar, extra sweetness to try and remedy increasingly heavy hearts in the face of an impending departure. Real forget-me-nots on top, because I will not forget.