This opening, this opening is the best opening ever. The end of 2020, a new year, vaccines, and a chance to see family and friends closer than a distance. I am giddy with anticipation; to hug children, to speak without a mask, and to share meals with friends.
We picked the warmest day of the week to cross the River. Took a straight line between two ships to the island.
We’d been out a month earlier for a boat ride, a quick check on the cottage, and to meet up with friends on the dock.
Today, the best day; shutters come down and screens go in. Evidence of winter mice swept, vacuumed, and scrubbed.
Leaves get raked and blown into the woods. Dutchman's breeches and tiny pink Spring Beauties offer happy dots of color on the hillside.
Without leaves, a little nest is revealed. I wonder at its location and how we missed it last year, so close to a busy pathway.
The water is turned on.
The old water pump is still working, although it seems to take longer to prime every year. It was manufactured in 1956 and has been pumping River water up the steep embankment every summer since.
Chores done, the cottage is locked backed up and it’s time to cross the River, with a list for next time.
Openings, new beginnings and with luck a healthy, happier summer.
By Sarah Ellen Smith
Sarah Ellen Smith began shooting photos, drawing, and painting what she saw along the shores of the St Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, during her childhood. In the years since, she has traveled the world gathering images, observing art, and art makers. In 2010, Sarah Ellen returned to be a year-round River resident. Until recently, she and John Arnot ran a gallery of their individual and collaborative work at St. Lawrence Pottery.
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