These days alone, together, at the lake are a sweet time for Molly and me. It is September, and very much a changing time, even within one day.
We're arranging to see people dear to us. The McFarlanes who accompanied us to Africa three times over the years. Our two ministers, good and faithful servants of the Lord, and their people. Joanie Metcalf's daughter Gayle, for our annual lunch to talk ministry and much more. A wonderful dinner out with our tender-hearted environmentalist friend, Blair. So fulfilling.
Molly is very busy with "closing up," but also with writing a "Prayer Journey" for our President Jim who heads back to Rwanda, Uganda, everywhere. Jim is greatly gifted in opening the way for Jesus' healing touch to reach deep into their hearts. What wondrous work this is, that God gave us to do, exactly 25 years ago. There'll be a big celebration of that milestone in early November. Hope you can come. You're invited.
I walk our road - a little way - to keep the old bod "a-movin'." Today I was hailed by a couple five or six houses down. They came on to the road to greet me. We had not met before. "Oh, our daughters love to run down to the water's edge to answer your yodels when you paddle by!" My dear little unknown friends. Actually, generations of them.
Writing is a healing, expanding thing for me, so after my walk I sat on the deck, looking down through the trees to the lake, and wrote letters to a few of Colonial's Prayer Chain people to offer a little love in their struggles for health. And, this letter to you.
Presently clouds lifted, and wind died, and the lake with a later afternoon sun just beginning to set, offered a calm I could not resist. So I changed into canoe clothes and launched my canoe onto calm waters, with beloved mountains all around, and headed east across our cove toward Pine River's mouth, where no hint of breeze was, and where I would be alone in that little lost world to paddle, a hundred strokes to a turn in the river I call the Beaver Pond - for it once was theirs, with two lodges and their busy life before the party boats and pontoon cruises and other craft invaded for the summer. They had none of it until Labor Day when the people all departed. The river this late afternoon was all mine. I found two of my scarlet cardinal flowers brilliantly present, yet already shrinking within themselves as summer ends. Oh, I hate to see them go. I had waited so long for them to come, in late July. They were a blessing to me.
I came out and paddled back to our beach by 5:00, my promised return time. And suddenly, there - again, to help me - came Wayne, my new summer friend, who lifted out my bow-balancing rock, steadied the canoe while I got out, and with assurances that he "knew" the drill, hauled the canoe to the white sand, and with one of the new owners of our neighboring trailer camp next door, turned it over and all was done.
They made it all light work. We talked a few minutes by way of thanks, and I headed up the path to supper.
It was apparently visiting night, for already there was a neighbor from down the beach who had grown up with our children and we talked of his plans to buy a neighbor's house up the road for his year-round home.
When he left, Molly dished up supper. And before long another knock came on the porch door, and another neighbor of the same generation stopped in in her bear hunting suit to set a day in the coming week when one of her brothers, struggling with early Alzheimer's, could be brought up from Boston for an annual visit which means much to her, and much to me.
And so it goes: a different day, of unexpected surprises, this early Saturday of sweet September on Ossipee Shores.
God fills so many days with surprises. His plan. His miracle plan, for sure. It's part of what makes September together, so sweet here.
Love you all.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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