My friend's grandparents owned a cottage at
Grand Beach. They were aging and spent little time there. It became a place
for our gang to have a good time. Most weekends the place was full of all
kinds of persons. Each with a reason and a hope for being there. Some pair
bonded nicely. Others not so well. Me not at all. This though I was an
appreciated conversation partner for most. Guessing folk liked being heard
as they explored their options and resources.
Some of us were musical. As day turned to
evening we would get into our cups. Out would come the guitars. The
harmonicas and the washtub bass. We delighted in playing songs from the
peace movement. Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Peter Paul and Mary. I very much
enjoyed these jam sessions. With the passing of time my playing and singing
improved. I also began to have a collection of songs that I liked to play. I
am still playing many of them. Songs making plain a general longing for the
world to be other than it is.
difference was in play at the cottage as elsewhere. During the day my
friends went down to the beach. I had no desire to wear a bathing suit. So I
generally took the assorted dogs down to the rocky shore. Throwing sticks
into the water. Delighting in the tenacity of the pups. Walking for hours.
Gathering driftwood and other detritus to make small sculptures. Watching
the water birds as they glided graciously on the breezes and winds. All
alone and somehow feeling very at home in the natural order. Seemed being
with persons presented me with my most demanding learning opportunity.
I tended to stay awake long into the night.
When the others were deep in sleep, I would be out on the front step.
Listening to the sound of the the trees. The sounds of water lapping onto
the shore. Slipping through the trees bats feeding on the night insects.
Above the trees a dark sky brightened by ten million points of light. A
remarkable reminder of my place in the big picture.