Portland, Oregon, USA
In the early morning, Mom and I detach ourselves from the others and by unspoken consent, head down to the lake. They say the water is so deep here that if someone drowns, they rarely recover the body. But today with the sun already starting to rise over the edge of the lake, I'm not thinking about drowning or bodies. Mom perches on a log while I run down to the water to skim stones. When I finally manage to skim one a half dozen times before it goes under, I turn triumphantly to wave at Mom but she is smiling fixedly at a point just over my left shoulder. Silently I walk closer until I am almost directly in front of her and wave again, but she doesn't turn towards me until I call her name.
I suddenly feel chilled, even though the day is warming up. When did this happen? How did it happen? Why didn't she tell me? Why didn't I see it coming? But as I take a seat beside her on the log, I say nothing. I did see it coming. I just refused to acknowledge it until the evidence was literally before my eyes. She had her secrets. I have mine. We sit for a while longer, idly discussing our plans for the day. Then we get up and head back to the cabin.
summer's end . . .
on the surface