A few short weeks ago, this was the view of Blueberry Island from a park near my house. Fall was coming. I knew that within days I’d be wearing a sweater and raking the lawn (and I was right), but on this particular afternoon, something drew me to this dock, a three-mile walk from my house. It’s on the town beach at a modest-size lake. I used to take my kids here for swimming lessons every summer. This is where my son got a trophy at the cardboard boat race the library used to sponsor. In this park is the hill – or the accursed hill, as I sometimes called it – that I used for uphill intervals as I trained for my first half-marathon. Near the beach is the community tennis court where my mother-in-law liked to take her grandchildren.
We lived in town when this property was acquired. A family that had operated a summer camp on the site for many years offered the land for a ridiculously low price, and at town meeting (which we still had back then), residents voted to accept the offer. I didn’t know then how much time I’d be spending at the park and its trails and its little beach.
On this day, camera in hand, I simply stood on the dock and breathed in the early-fall air at the end of a workday. The place, the view, the sheer delight of not having to be anywhere else: I was home.