It started with a frog near a rented cottage in the Vermont countryside, rather, a chorus of of frogs. The house had a pond filled with them. They greeted us in the darkness when we arrived, loose and jangly like guitar strings, and would croak and sing at all hours, perched on lilly pads and hidden among reeds and grass. They hopped to safety when we got too close, save this single one, the tiniest we saw, eyes dazzling gold coins, and entirely mute, despite our protestations.
We made friends with Herman the Moss Man while eating tiny blackberries gleaned from patches nestled in forested hedgerows, talking about nothing at all.
We swam in Lake Mephremagog and gathered with new “old” friends on an anchored platform, bouncing and bobbing, voices booming and laughing, bodies stretching and baking in the afternoon sun.
We met a bearded captain, bronzed and shirtless, with a beautiful boat made from wood felled in his own forest. His hands were meant for sailing.
We cruised the lake in a fast boat, thrumming and warm with happiness.
We heard loons and watched the sunset.
We ate simple food and roasted marshmallows over a blazing fire, bringing out the child in all of us.
We sipped cool drinks and told stories and reminisced.
And with all my soul, I felt the specialness, the gratitude, the awe, of knowing this was one of the best days of my life.