Labour Day Weekend

Dark clouds float across the lake like giant, inflated elephants. Rain skirts around us. Thunder roars. And we sit at the card table unconcerned, playing Settlers. The rain stops by, briefly, for a smoke, but doesn’t linger. We win the argument.

Bacon, bagel, eggs. Potato, pepper, chicken. Chili. Mike’s twenty-inch catch: fresh lunch. As always, we are well fed. Laughter carries across the water, a letter delivered and opened. Clarity, calm. We camp lakeside, washing our dishes in the water. The light dips and swirls. I sit on water’s edge, languid, forgetting myself.

On Sunday the wind is drawn around us in parallel lines. Then, late in the afternoon, it picks up: the tent flips, the tarp rips and is pinned against a tree. I scramble to collect scattered cups and bags, shoving them into the jeep and finding my coat—which I’d been looking for all weekend—tucked in a corner. The guys are caught out on the lake, the wind bending their b-line home like an arrow’s bow. But by the time they arrive the wind has settled. Water is boiling, ready for hot chocolate and coffee. The sun is out, the lake is placid, returning to it’s first-light state: a mirror to the sky.

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