Monday, August 4, 2008

From Friday...

All day, as I walk around this place which is my ancestral home I think this: I want to post 10,000 pictures to try to capture this to them, so they can see the beauty of where I am. As I do not have a computer with the right software to do so, however, I will humbly try to capture it with words.

It is afternoon, late. Nearing five o’clock, and the sun is high and bright in the sky. We are westward enough that the sunset is late here, nearly nine o’clock. The afternoon almost feels new. I am sitting on the sand, the soft, sandy hill that slopes down to the lake’s edge. We call this place the baby beach; the eight cottages that were first built one hundred years ago by my ancestors are built in a horseshoe around this beach, and in lieu of private waterfront we share the “common”—a huge, grassy field, and this beach. The dock is large, and shaped like an L, and the beach is wide, deep, and sloped. The water is very shallow around our dock. Because we have owned the land since 1889, we have the rare, grandfathered-in privilege of actually owning water, so we have ½ mile long buoy line that extends around the point, protecting us from fishermen and party boats, the speedy and the noisy. We are safe.

I am sitting by my children, and there is laughter and concentration. We are building a series of ponds, connected with canals. Children are hard at work mixing “cement” to line the canals, digging out new pools, and ferrying up buckets of water to fill the ponds. There are my two children, and my cousin Caley’s daughter, and my cousin Briare’s two boys, and my cousin Deb’s three children, and my cousin Julie’s daughter, and they are all in the sand together, working busily. Their ages span over less than three years. All the children are fourth cousins with one another. They share a common great, great, great grandfather. I cannot get over how amazing this is. Who else in North America knows of, let alone plays with, an entire slew of fourth cousins? And how fortunate for my children, who have no first cousins of their own, to have this crowd of distant relations to call family. I am grateful.

And also, everly aware, that the eldest of this crew is missing. I am always aware of how happy I seem, and wonder if people remember this missing piece of me. I have made it a point to remember, this summer, that if people ask me if I am working, I will say YES. I may not work for money, but I work very hard for my group. I founded an organization that, without me, would not run. And so, yes, I do work. I am proud of my work, and by speaking of it, I not only remind them of Charlotte, but I also show them that I have chosen not to let go of her, and that my grief and remembrance is making a difference in the lives of others. This is of great value.


Sara said...

Carol, your work is so important. I'm glad you are acknowledging it--and through it, Charlotte.

Janya said...

Can you share more about your group with us?

Glad you're checking in even while on vacation!