Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Guestbooks of Thule

I've always been an adventurous traveler, preferring trips to places I've never been before. I'm seeing now what great good comes from returning over and over to the same place, a family place, in this case a cottage named Thule. 

Flipping through the old guestbooks here, seeing the girls' handwriting change through the years, reading entries from those no longer with us, I gain for a few minutes what I'm always craving but so seldom have — perspective.

I remember the party boats, campfires and paddles into secret coves, the skits and the late-night swims. I also recall how nervous I was when the children were young. Would they fall out of the canoe? Could they swim across the lake and back?

Reading the old journals, it all comes back to me — the time when Claire split her foot on a shell, the visit when Suzanne almost drove her grandmother's car off the road, the summer when Celia learned to kayak. All those visits are part of them, part of me — and part of this place. Reading the guestbooks brings them alive again.

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