Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
Sunflower Opening.jpg


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

Laurel Lake, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire

Laurel Lake, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire

Once more to the lake. The dogs got their walk, but they did not get to go to the lake. It was quite terribly hot by the time I got them out along the river and into the woods, and we cut it short. Today, I had planned to meet my brother at Laurel Lake, the lake where we spent our childhoods and even owned a cabin together when our children were very young. To celebrate his birthday, August 31, and my upcoming 60th, we wanted to do our swim across the lake from Sandy Beach to the girls' camp, Fleur de Lis on the southern side. Dusty and I have been swimming across lakes together for decades, but today, my daughter Perri came with us for the first time. I knew she could do it; I didn't know if she would do it. The three of us set off from Sandy Beach, into the hot breeze blowing across the sun drenched lake. To be out of the path of any motor boats, we swam up the shore, past the rafts and docks and boats of all the homes along the edge. A weekday afternoon, it was especially free of water skiers and boaters. Steadily, we swam without stopping, except for a moment when my brother turned us around for our first glimpse of Mount Monadnock behind the trees that can be seen when we're almost all the way to the girls' camp. We reached the metal docks of the quiet camp, closed now for the summer; the girls have gone. Then we walked, barefoot and wet suited back around the lake to Sandy Beach. All the way, we were in the moment, invigorated by the fresh, clear, water, but also, in the past, in all the memories of swims from all our other ages and times. It was a day we felt our mother watching us enjoy her lake, appreciating this gift of memory, of so many summers, rain or shine, in her happiest, happiest place.

Years ago my brother brought this E.B. White essay to my attention, and I have loved it ever since, especially this passage, because it so accurately depicts the emotional ties to revisiting a childhood experience of a beloved place, and it feels exactly as if White is describing ours so brilliantly:

I wondered how time would have marred this unique, this holy spot—. . . .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.”

All photos and text ©Kelly DuMar 2018 unless otherwise attributed

Kelly DuMarComment