The Last Morning


On the last morning, the sky was overcast and gray and heavy with un-fallen rain.  I took the boys down by the water while Deb cleaned out the camper.   We stood on the shore and threw rocks.   There was a cool breeze blowing out of the north, just cool enough to remind me that not only was this the last morning, but that soon summer would be gone, too.

I picked up a smooth dark gray stone and wrapped my index finger around its curve.   Then I bent down and threw it side armed out across the smooth surface of our rented little piece of Lake Superior.  It skimmed over the water and skipped five times before sinking to the bottom.  The boys were reasonably impressed, as they should have been.  I’d had years of experience, starting when I was their age, throwing hundreds of stones into any number of rivers and lakes.

After the ripples faded, I thought about the stone I’d just sent to the murky depths.  I wondered how long it had sat there, on that sandy beach, before I picked it up.  And I wondered how long it would remain where it was now, under the waves, on the bottom of the lake.

We’d better get going, I said, before it starts to rain.   It was late August, and it was the last day of vacation.