Jul 5, 2007

BELLINGHAM – Some lakes are summertime things. The hot sky irons them flat. Faded as old jeans, they exist only for canon balls and beer.

I float off Edward's dock, near the fist-fat water lilies. His neighbors all loiter outside too, crisping pale skin to a patriotic scarlet. It is the Fourth of July, after all...

"Best backyard EVER," he says.

No argument here.

For once.

The sun slinks below a hill, flares gold and Delft blue. I missed this witching hour most, during my seven years of European exile. A snapshot of Padilla Bay always haunted my workspace: the islands Hat, Dot, Saddlebag, Guemes. Their humpback profiles crisscrossing and shading into the Olympic Mountains.

I fall into that scene. Rainbow, dog of a lifetime, rolls in dead seal, putrefied under a mat of seaweed. Eagles swoop and skree. The Doug Firs arrow up, up, up until their silhouettes disappear into the night.

Fireworks snap, crackle, pop my reverie.

All very pretty, the lights. But not a patch on sundown and memory.