Goodbye Loon

Come to think of it I haven’t heard the loon since…when was it? A few days ago, perhaps. But this morning around 4:15 when the rising light on the lake told me I new day was arriving, the loon sang out, one last time again. One last time this morning, before it was time for me to say goodbye. 

As I’ve prepared to leave this cabin home of the past month, I’ve wanted to pause, to remember. To take something in and hold what I haven’t known how to contain. All I’ve known is that I haven’t wanted to go, haven’t wanted to leave tearing through these last days like the kids on the jet ski yesterday morning roaring across the lake. I’ve wanted time to slow and slow enough to hold off this time, this last morning before saying goodbye and moving on.

Yesterday, I ran my own Belmont Triathlon – a silly but fun way to mark an ending and prove perhaps that the last weeks have amounted to something. So one more swim down to the end of the point followed by a bike ride down Bean Hill. Reminded again how long 30 miles actually is – and so more circling through town until I reach my goal, my bike ride complete. A quick drink and snack and I’m off again running back to the cabin. Alas, its further than I thought. Nine miles instead of my planned on seven. The mid-morning heat slows me to a crawl, sets me to the dreadful walking in shade and worrying that I might not get up steam to run again. Yes, I made it back home where I shouted out to the neighbors to cheer me on to the finish. Celebrate a small personal victory on a terribly hot day. 

My morning swims, runs and rides have indeed meant something was possible that I wasn’t sure was. I share with my running friends that I indeed came in First Place in the Belmont Triathlon. Perhaps they don’t need to know I was the only competitor! 

Now that the race is complete, I can see that if it proved anything at all, it showed me again that you can truly “be” in a place and give yourself fully to its habitation. In giving myself to the particular call and texture, stirring of my heart this summer, something surprising happened that I didn’t expect.  

Since I’ve been here on the lake, a new interim opportunity has opened. I move to Littleton, New Hampshire on September 4 to serve as the interim pastor at the First Congregational Church. The “North Country” is another part of the world I know little to nothing about. And yes, I’ve learned that whatever I think I “know” is most likely wrong. I look forward to giving myself to this new place and wonder on what might be revealed, what we might discover in our journey together.  

Yesterday a hot and humid day again and a few cousins came over for a swim. Well, actually, a lounge and float on the lake, followed by a short paddle down past the campground on a little flotilla of paddle boards and kayaks. 

The lake has been especially quiet this summer. Even that speeding jet ski has left, leaving the lake but with a faint rippling memory that something once was here.

It feels like weeks ago that I was at Camp Pride, like another life and maybe it was. Another kind of habitation. 

Last evening, a slow drifting white cloud covered the mountain. Took its own slow time to move on. This time on the lake, all too soon, will be but a memory, an anticipation of a return again next summer. But as this pandemic season has taught, my “plan” is but a “plan”, an idea that may or may not actually come to fruition. Like all things, we’ll wait and see. 

Last night a boat roared out from the dock next door but soon the lake was quiet once again. This morning one last quick dip, one more twittering call of the loon. One more sip of coffee, one more moment to linger here, just for this moment in the memory of a most wonderful season this summer.

Why did time fade out some memories so that they didn’t even seem any more real than a story in a book? And why were others, whether you liked it or not, a living part of you at any moment when they come into your head? 

            (From an old book on Harriet’s cabin shelf, The Deepening Stream by Dorothy Canfield)

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