The ground angling down to the shore is precariously lined with dry, brown pine needles over soft soil. Roots arc up from the ground, twist and dive back, creating hazardous steps as I descend, sidestepping slightly for balance. Sunlight filters through ashes, birches, and firs, pale and green-scented on my face and bare arms.
The rock is warm, the lichen soft-green and dry on its surface. A watery breeze drifts over the shoreline here; there sunlight breaks and glitters on the pond. My body settles into the saddle-shaped depression at the rock’s center, my back against the dirt rising back up from the water’s edge.
The pond laps at the rock, a soft splot-splot-splot. A motor boat whirrs over the water past Blueberry Island like an industrial dragonfly and the wavelets amplify against my perch: splot-slap-splot-slap. Voices and laughter and raucous song drift over the water, tumble down the embankment from the forest trail above as campers in groups wander the acres, searching.
Water snake, peeper frog, pondweed, canoe, a kiss of shadow as a cloud slips past the sun. My thoughts empty, leaving space for fleeting observations.
Fill with deeper thoughts. Summer’s inevitable close, the crisp breath of fall in a new place, a shift in my life’s center of gravity. A dull ache between my shoulders muscles ahead of thoughts; I sit up and stretch, awareness and blood pushing back into flesh.
The heat from pond-mirrored sun dusts freckles on my skin, infuses my hair with the smell of summer, and I settle back into the hard saddle. The quiet cove down the shore is thickly skimmed in waterlilies, recently opened, nodding gently on the nearly still surface.
Footsteps above. I still myself, breathe quietly, drawing the air in silently. Giggles. I am found.
For this week’s memoir prompt, we’re going to let narrative take a backseat. Choose a moment from your personal history and mine it for sensory detail. Describe it to us in rich, evocative details. Let us breathe the air, hear the heartbeat, the songs, feel the fabric and the touch of that moment.