Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar

 

#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

 Asclepias tuberosa; Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa; Butterfly Weed

  Beach Rose

Beach Rose

We've been looking forward to finding a favorite beach toy, a buoy, washed ashore, for Charlie to swim and fetch, and this morning we did. We made a long, lingering, playful journey over the rocks this morning at low tide. 

Even as I walked in the soft air of the seashore of Vineyard Sound, I began to feel the rumblings of a poem about a freshwater lake, inspired by some recent texts exchanged between my sisters, brothers and myself, about missing our parents, particularly, on these summer days which bring back memories of time spent at Laurel Lake in New Hampshire. Switching on my voice recorder of my cell phone, I took notes of the spontaneous outpouring of ideas. Then, I kept walking, in silence, and realized I was feeling as if I might weep. But, it was more than sentimentality. It was a recognition of how deeply happy childhood memories anchor relationships, family values, and the human spirit.

My grandparents, my mother's parents, Clarence and Marguerite, brought their five children to summer on Laurel Lake in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, a few miles from Mount Monadnock, for the first time in the 1930's. They would return and return, and bring their spouses and children, and always, to the little strip of sand, Sandy Beach, in the Pine Grove, filled with family, and the docks, by the rocks, in view of the beach, filled with family too. Our summer joy, our summer bliss, belonged to Laurel Lake. Although he's not writing specifically about "our" Laurel Lake, my brother and I love this classic essay by E.B. White, Once More to the Lake, about the ritual of return to a beloved childhood haunt:

 Map of Laurel Lake, Fitzwilliam, NH

Map of Laurel Lake, Fitzwilliam, NH

On the journey over to the lake I began to wonder what it would be like. I wondered how time would have marred this unique, this holy spot—the coves and streams, the hills that the sun set behind, the camps and the paths behind the camps. I was sure that the tarred road would have found it out and I wondered in what other ways it would be desolated. It is strange how much you can remember about places like that once you allow your mind to return into the grooves which lead back. You remember one thing, and that suddenly reminds you of another thing. I guess I remembered clearest of all the early mornings, when the lake was cool and motionless, remembered how the bedroom smelled of the lumber it was made of and of the wet woods whose scent entered through the screen. The partitions in the camp were thin and did not extend clear to the top of the rooms, and as I was always the first up I would dress softly so as not to wake the others, and sneak out into the sweet outdoors and start out in the canoe, keeping close along the shore in the long shadows of the pines. I remembered being very careful never to rub my paddle against the gunwale for fear of disturbing the stillness of the cathedral.
— E.B. White, essay, Once More to the Lake

White's essay - and the recent texts between my brothers and sisters - will be on my mind and in my heart when I transcribe my notes for a draft of my poem. 

 

All photos and text copyright Kelly DuMar 2017 unless otherwise attributed