Fleeting summer

Change is in the air…these end-of-August days are absolutely golden. They’re bittersweet, and I want to hold on to them. Most of the staff members have returned to school. Andy says the place is full of ghosts this time of year——those of us left at the crew cabin table linger a little bit longer with our tea and cheesecake…

Those who plan their autumn canoe trips know the secret of the woods in the fall—fewer people and bugs…happy people, big winners! They’re on to the possibiltiy of golden canoe trips into October.

The resident pack of wolves are moving in close and we see them often. I’m honored, but wish they were a little more alarmed by our presence here—I saw one of the pups the other day. I stopped while the lanky healthy guy trotted around my car, his mother trotted around after him. Neither one changed posture when I rolled down my window, hoping my scent would startle them even though the car didn’t. As tough as Denali appears, she will bristle and bark when we pass by an area they must have just glided through—but she trots back to me—I must be the alpha female in our pack of two.

The kids are excited to return to school as they savor their last moments of freedom. As much as I love fall, I hate to see everybody go. There is a relaxed busy-ness to our days as we start to wrap up—I feel excitement mixed with an ache for the people of summer—unsettling feelings wake me up early. At dawn the other morning I was hustling over to the office to catch up—when the calm lake called me out for a brief paddle. I wish I could bottle up these stunning days and offer them to everyone I know