A Quaker Stillness

There is an echo on this mountain lake.

Coming in and out of morning fog
I can just catch the whisper
of young girls giggling
and splashing each other as the cool water
invites them to swim off the sizzling summer energy.

The slap of the ropes against sails set to race the length of lake winds.
A breath caught in surprise as the bass breaks the water’s surface
and disturbs an afternoon of drifting in silence.
Boots stomping out the rhythm of camp songs, marching through the pines.
Silverware daintily clinking china as the ladies lunch on the stone porch
while tennis balls and golf balls and volley balls and ping pong balls
bounce back and forth and back on the vintage courts beyond.

And a solitary soulful bell sounding the call to nature’s sanctuary.

We were once those girls.

Sailors and explorers.
Athletes and adventurers.
With our tattered Nancy Drew books and rackets and fishing poles in tow,
we took seriously the job of being summer teenagers.

Now we are women.
Who fall in the lake when the canoe drifts beyond our new sneakers’ grasp
and laugh until our softened bellies ache.
We have more interest in cooking the fish than catching it.
And can still learn a new sport from old pros.
We walk rather than march
and talk… a lot
about how much we learned from growing up together.

And in the morning
after a long night of memories and giggles
we make our way one by one
down the woodland fern bordered path
and sit in reverence on this dock
adding our aging voices to
the echo in this quaker stillness.