by Mitch Lee
It was mid-April of 1976 and Limekiln Lake was almost visible again to my ten-year old inquisitive eyes. The last remaining piece of bluish grey ice drifted out in the center of the lake.
The familiar waves had returned to the sandy beach in a lapping rhythm hurled forth by a strong breeze.
I made squishy footprints along the shore’s edge, as I walked along scanning the sand for treasures washed in by the winter.
I pushed my hands deep into my pockets not worrying about the droplets emerging from my nose.
The bite of the wind reminded me that the clouds forming out over the Island could bring some flurries, as old man winter refused to go quietly.
It wouldn’t be long before the sun would fade that morning and I was determined to soak in all I could.
I paused to pick up a smooth beaver-chewed stick about two feet in length.
The stick felt good to the touch of my fingertips even though the cold wetness stung a bit.
I drove it upright into the sand like a flag to show I had been there. I continued to do the same with the many more sticks I found along the way.
When I had reached the far end of the beach I turned back and saw the strange snake-like sculpture I had left behind.
I picked up another stick and scraped it into the sand as a strolled, weaving in and out of the upright sticks I had placed.
When I got back to the opposite end of the beach I climbed up on a large white pine log and then on top of a stack of docks to survey my work.
Draped along the shoreline was a boy’s rambling artwork marking a coming and going.
It occurred to me that in only a few days it would be washed or blown away…obliterated as if I had never been there.
But I was satisfied by the view and what I had created.
I turned my gaze back out at the lake and watched the darkening sky creep closer, bringing with it even cooler winds.
I smelled the snow before the first flakes flittered past my cheeks.
It smelled like a colder version of summer rain.
I hopped off my perch into the wet sand and within minutes the snow began to stick and cover my artwork. But the Lake continued to break up.
Mitch Lee, Adirondack native & storyteller,
lives at Inlet. email@example.com