Halcyon Days 2020 - Issue 18.1

Peaceful poems and essays.

Peaceful poems and essays.

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Halcyon Days—Issue 18

Founder, Monique Berry | Hamilton On Canada


Bruce Levine

4 Harbingers of the Day

Duncan Hoag

17 Under the Overhang

Emory D. Jones

11 Water Lilies

14 Haiku Sequence

15 Forest Shadows

16 Sunset

Ingrid Bruck

8 In Praise of Grits

Milton Ehrlich

21 The Waves Within

Miriam Edelson

12 A Stand of Conifers

R. Gerry Fabian

9 Your Confection

23 The Floating Experiment

Robert Beveridge

5 One Smile

6 First Day of Summer

7 Home Opener

Sarah Fairbanks

25 The Closest Place to Home

Stella Mazur Preda

18 Poet’s Garden

19 A Gift

20 Silver Lake

Steven Tutino

22 Full Bloom

Yash Seyedbagheri

10 Ode to a Walk

Bruce Levine

Pg 4

Ingrid Bruck

Pg 8

Stella Mazur Preda

Pg 18, 19, 21

Duncan Hoag

Pg 17

Miriam Edelson

Pg 12

Steven Tutino

Pg 22

Emory D. Jones

Pg 11, 14, 15, 16

Sarah Fairbanks

Pg 25

Yash Seyedbagheri

Pg 10

Halcyon Days Magazine

ISSN: 2291-0255

Frequency: Quarterly

Publisher | Designer: Monique Berry

Contact Info


Twitter: @1websurfer


Cover & inside | marinavorona—stock.adobe.com

Special Notices

Halcyon Days has one time rights.

See website for subscription details.

No photocopies allowed.

Contributor Bios

Halcyon Days—Issue 18

Bruce Levine, a 2019 Pushcart Prize Poetry Nominee, has spent his life

as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional.

Over three hundred of his works are published in over twenty-five online

journals including Ariel Chart, Friday Flash Fiction, Literary Yard;

over thirty print books including Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Dual

Coast Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, and his shows have been

produced in New York and around the country. Six eBooks are available

from Amazon.com. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his

late wife, Lydia Franklin. A native Manhattanite, Bruce lives in New

York with his dog, Gabi. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com

R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor. He has been publishing

poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. His web page is https://

rgerryfabian.wordpress.com. He is the editor of Raw Dog Press https://

rawdogpress.wordpress.com He has published two books of his published

poems, Parallels and Coming Out Of The Atlantic. His novels, Memphis

Masquerade, Getting Lucky (The Story) and Seventh Sense are available

at all ebook publishers including Amazon, Apple Books and Barnes and

Noble. He is currently working on his fourth novel, Ghost Girl.

Duncan Hoag is a writer from Virginia. He grew up among words and

fresh air.

Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes

poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Collective Unrest,

Cough Syrup, and Blood & Bourbon, among others.

Dr. Emory D. Jones is a retired English teacher who has taught in high

schools and various community colleges. He has four hundred and eight

credits including publication in such journals as Voices International,

The White Rock Review, Free Xpressions Magazine, The Storyteller,

Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Gravel, Pasques Petals, The Pink

Chameleon, and Encore: Journal of the NFSPS. He is retired and lives in

Iuka, Mississippi, with his wife, Glenda. He has two daughters and four


Ingrid Bruck writes poetry, grows wildflowers and makes jam. Finding

Stella Maris, her debut chapbook, was released this winter. She was a

2018 featured writer of Between These Shores Literary & Arts Annual

and has since joined their editorial team. Current work appears in Otata,

Failed Haiku, Naturewritng, Halcyon Days and Founders

Favorites. Poetry website: www.ingridbruck.com

Sarah Fairbanks is a bookkeeper by day and a writer by night. While her

left brain enjoys maintaining accurate books, her right brain finds it

imperative to create and think outside the box.

She has been writing since she was a child. Her father was in the military

and she has lived in numerous places, including England and Germany.

Her sense of wanderlust continued into adulthood and she has explored

Spain, parts of South America, and Serbia. In addition, she has

traveled all over the United States.

Sarah now lives in Western Massachusetts where she enjoys hiking and

boating. She also continues another lifelong passion and creative outlet –


Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 88-year-old psychologist and a veteran of

the Korean War. He has published poems in, The Antigonish Review,

London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine,

Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and

the New York Times.

Miriam Edelson is a social activist, writer and mother living in Toronto,

Canada. Her literary non-fiction, personal essays and commentaries have

appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, The Wascana Review,

Collective Unrest, Writing Disorder, Wilderness House Literary Review

and on CBC Radio. Her first book, “My Journey with Jake: A Memoir of

Parenting and Disability” was published in April 2000. “Battle Cries:

Justice for Kids with Special Needs” appeared in late 2005. She has

completed a doctorate at University of Toronto focused upon Mental

Health in the Workplace and is currently at work on a collection of

essays. She lives with and manages the mental health challenges related

to bipolar disorder.

Stella Mazur Preda is a resident of Waterdown, Ontario, Canada.

Having retired from elementary teaching in Toronto, she is owner and

publisher of Serengeti Press, a small press publishing company, located in

the Hamilton area. Since its opening in 2003, Serengeti Press has

published 43 Canadian books. Serengeti Press is now temporarily on

hiatus. Stella Mazur Preda has been published in numerous Canadian

anthologies and some US, most notably the purchase of her poem My

Mother’s Kitchen by Penguin Books, New York. Stella has released four

previous books, Butterfly Dreams (Serengeti Press, 2003); Witness,

Anthology of Poetry (Serengeti Press, 2004), edited by John B. Lee; From

Rainbow Bridge to Catnip Fields (Serengeti Press, 2007) The Fourth

Dimension, (Serengeti Press, 2012). She is a current member of Tower

Poetry Society in Hamilton, Ontario and The Ontario Poetry Society.

Stella is currently working on her fifth book, Tapestry, based on the life

of her aunt and written completely in poetic form. Tapestry will hopefully

be released in the Fall of 2019.

Steven Tutino was born in Montréal, Canada, and is a writer, poet, painter and personal trainer. He is currently a graduate student at

Concordia University in the process of completing an M.A. in Theological Studies. His poetry has appeared in Concordia

University’s Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality, The Paragon Journal, Halcyon Days, Perspectives Magazine, Founder’s

Favourites and Anapest: A Journal of Poetry Excellence. His artwork has appeared in numerous journals and magazines

including TreeHouse Arts, Montréal Writes, Spadina Literary Review, The Montréal Gazette, From Whispers to Roars, The Indianapolis

Review, After Happy Hour, Apricity Magazine and Apricity Press.

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University's MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in

WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.

Harbingers of the Day

By Bruce Levine

Reveling in the morning

Cool, crisp, crystal clear sky

The brightness of the early light

Against the new leaves on May trees

Harbingers of the day

Life abounding

Woodpecker tattoos

Conversations understood only by birds

Dogs chasing squirrels chasing acorns

Harbingers of the day


Halcyon Days 2020 Issue 18 Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 4

One Smile

By Robert Beveridge

It was outside

in the park

she wanted

to take my picture

so I hung

upside down

from a tree branch

and sang

college fight songs

until her face

folded into a smile

a genuine look

of pleasure

of surprise that

in this world

some happiness

can still exist

4KQUALITY — stock. Adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2019 Issue 18 | 5

First Day of Summer

By Robert Beveridge

first day of summer:


in bloom


Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 6

Home Opener

By Robert Beveridge

Crickets stare confused

at giants in uniforms

who fling planets, wave

impossible tree trunks.

They prepare for sleep

with a skid through dirt

before head touches pillow.

No one ever gets a six

and fastballs may

fracture extremities.

Erin Cadigan—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 6

In Praise of Grits

By Ingrid Bruck

I love corn in all varieties, shapes and textures.

Fresh on the cob, slathered with butter and salt.

Corn, knife sliced off blanched cobs.

Yellow or white grains, served whole or creamed.

An unpeeled ear, charcoal roasted, rubbed with lime.

Ripe corn from the garden, frozen or canned.

Shucked and dried kernels off the cob.

Ground into flour, made into corn muffins.

Pounded into masa, patted, slapped, baked into tortillas.

Boiled rough cracked corn in salt water for grits.

I love grits, they travel me back to Texas

where our boys were born and raised.

Good old-fashioned grits (never instant),

I boil stone cut grits in salty water.

We eat grits for breakfast with butter and cracked pepper.

Or a traditional southern dish of grits and fried

smothered in creamed gravy, with greens on the side.

Grits open up miles of clear blue Texas skies

where the sun shines so bright, you have to wear shades,

where you can’t gage far from near on rolling prairie grass,

where long horn steer and antelope roam on ranches,

where the legend of Bigfoot Wallace, Texas Ranger,

lives on in the hill country along the Llano River

and bluebonnets grow bigger than his feet or appetite,

where Big Tex stands at the entrance of the State Fair in Dallas

(even though he burned in a fire in October 2012

and they rebuilt his fifty foot frame, boots, hat and clothes),

and where old-fashioned grits, the only real kind,

boil in a pot of water for exactly twenty minutes

as every lover of the movie My Cousin Vinny knows.


Halcyon Days - 2020 | Issue 18 | 8

Your Confection

by Gerry Fabian

Elegant puff blush—

Chocolate large lips

Lick pastry sweetness

Across airy cream.


Regale the flavor.

marcin jucha—stock.adobe.com




Days -






18 | 98

Ode To A Walk

By Yash Seyedbagheri

feet meander through warm dirt

around curved hillsides

up, down

up again

down, down

pines rise, row after row

a cathedral

without end

on I climb

mist falling over the hills across the valley

silver shrouds hanging,

as if frozen in time

and I climb a little slower

absorbing the verdancy

as it mingles with dirt

the distant roads

where a lone truck ambles

home, to the bar

a speck moving along

a vast valley smiles

homes popping out from pines

my feet slow

am I walking?


Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 10

Water Lilies

By Emory D. Jones

In this mode, Monet was the master—

his Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies

is a perfect piece of suffused light.

Background foliage drooping, weeping,

dipping leaf tips in the warm water

centered on a graceful arch of bridge;

blue-green water shimmering

with gold flecks

splashed with black-green pads

and delicate white flowers—

we feel the warm sun,

the caress of gentle breeze.

Thank you, Claude.

Massimo Santi—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 11

A Stand of Conifers

By Miriam Edelson


magine my surprise! I arrived at the lake to find

a brand new road crosscut against our property,

running practically straight up to the new

structure above. A strip laid bare, right on the

property line next to our building. Razed earth. It was

ugly but, moreover, it occurred to me that there could

be noise coming from the cottage above, that the new

road would ferry in comings and goings of untold

proportion. And so, I looked for a solution.

I found one in the forest itself. By planting tiny

evergreen seedlings alongside the old gravel road, I

could eventually block sound and view. Today, more

than seventeen years later, the pine and spruce

seedlings are thirty-foot trees. They form a rustling

canopy, sheltering the cottage from any noise that

might escape the occasional passing vehicle.

It wasn’t a matter of conflict with the neighbours – we

get along well. No, it was a practical matter. Of noise.

Of privacy. The modest stand of conifers has

graciously played its role well in the intervening years.

Inside the cottage we are cozy, poised for rest and

work. Taking meals with the view of lake and forest

we feast on local ingredients, enjoying nature’s

bounty. The rustic pine table is big enough to sit eight

comfortably. It sprawls in the area once a screened-in

porch, now rebuilt into a room with windows that open

onto the lake and forest. The table is covered with blue

and green woven placemats that set off its honeygolden

hue. Sometimes it’s just me, while often we’re

two or three and, on occasion, several more gathering

around. There is something in its sturdiness that

encourages the sharing of pleasure, of friendship. The

cast of characters changes with each passing week; the

table, in its constancy, endures as witness.

In these Covidian times, I am reminded how special

those shared meals were. Easy melding of friends,

family, enjoying good food and fellowship. I wonder

what this cottage season will bring? I recall that as a

young woman, many years before a shelter graced the

property, I sat and watched by the sunlit rock, astride a

still-watered lake. Covered with soft green moss, the

rock anchors cedar trees with their majestic crowns. A

fresh, almost citrus odor wafts from the cedar fronds,

reaching me below.

Sitting on the rock, in the indented space I claim as my

own, I am sunbaked and naked. I chase away the odd

fisherman in my brazen nudity. As I feel the mossy

texture beneath me, the water now churns amid the

fishing boat’s wake. In the distance, a small island

beckons. It sports one lone, spindly pine. The island is

always named for the youngest visitor to the lake. To

give the power of place to the children and gather hope

in their outstretched hands.

As always, this place offers up the quiet for reflective

practice, for writing. Two decades ago, I charged my

laptop on a marine battery, red and black cables

spilling akimbo, to create a memoir about my son’s

short and difficult life. Now, having harnessed solar

energy, I am able to write night and day. Power and

light now accompany even the most blustery, sodden

days of late autumn.

It’s a treasured existence. Quiet yet connected. My

writing thrives in this stillness, it nurtures my soul. I

don’t want to lose these days of contemplation.

Surrounded by the towering stand of conifers, I am

grateful for peace it brings.

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 12

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 13


Haiku Sequence

By Emory D. Jones

Yellow butterflies

Flitting across green meadows

Like dancing sunshine

The insect monarchs

Skimming with orange and black wings

Holding court in spring.

Butterflies resting

In the shade of the oak trees

Like forest jewels.

Spring sunshine warms

The cocoon on the tree branch

Butterfly will hatch.





Days -






18| | 14


By Emory D. Jones

(An Ae freslighe poem)

Mingled sunlight’s shivering

On forest’s lush, greening floor

It’s almost like quivering

As the sunlight’s preening more

Leafy shadows covering

Speckled grass in shadow

Like butterflies hovering

In the sunlight’s golden glow.

The scene is so rewarding

To any who love the drift

It’s like the Lord awarding

A big forest shadows gift.


Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18| 15


By Emory D. Jones

Fiery orange ball

Approaching western horizon

Flickering among the cumulus

Sending sunshafts

In glorious haloes

And seeming to touch

The earth

Sending up reds

And oranges

And deep purples

Against the clouds

Fading into night.


Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 17 | 16

Under the Overhang

Duncan Hoag

The rain was unexpected as it flew down

in fat drops between the buildings

A brief scramble, as if heeding an air raid siren

and then we’re stuck under the overhang of a subway station

Mothers with strollers huddle beside old men out for a stroll

Men with briefcases stand, hoping the downpour will be brief

Their faces are impatient or calm or pensive

The rain stops and this brief union of strangers dissipates

never to be seen together again

There might have been a beauty there, the kind you must imagine

not obvious, like a whirling thunderstorm or a serene vista

or a rosy-fingered dawn

Sometimes the goodness you project

is the best of what you can find

Carlos Caetano—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days -- 2020 Issue 18 17 | | 17 17

Poet’s Garden

By Stella Mazur Preda

dig for thoughts

plant words prune phrases

weed out redundancy

cultivate creativity

revisions nurture growth

we listen — voices spark the mind

imagery and metaphors thrive

produce early buds

blossoms open

blend together

colours of language …

the poems within revealed

Geraldine Dukes | Pixabay.com

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 18

A Gift

by Stella Mazur Preda

The butterfly lingered

clinging to a blade of grass

opalescent velvet wings

statuesque in the gentle breeze

tenderly I caressed

Nature’s fragile mystery, then

pirouetting, she choreographed

a dance across the sky.

Laura Pashkevich—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 19

Silver Lake

by Stella Mazur Preda

Stillness laps ragged shores

washes over sleek boulders

burrows deep in fossil rocks

Tethered to a dock long since the feast

of voracious termite colonies

a lipstick-red canoe kisses shallow waters

Red-gold leaves ornament maple branches

as sunbeams ricochet off the lazy lake

My camera clicks rhythmically

surreptitiously ogling nature’s bedroom

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 17 | 20

Daniel Thornberg—stock. adobe.com

The Waves Within

By Milton Ehrlich

I listen to roaring waves

of whitecaps in the sea

churning inside of me

especially as they crash

on my old white bones—

yet at many other times

grow as silent as a pond

covered in a sheet of glass

without a hint of any wind

like a smiling sated infant

who basks in a state of bliss.

Andrew—stock. adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2020 || Issue 18 | 21

Full Bloom

By Steven Tutino

My two magnificent prune trees are in full bloom. There is a purity and innocence in the

striking combination of green and white against the backdrop of a clear baby blue sky. Angelic,

calming and soothing. In the past, I’ve probably never thought twice about it, but this year, of

course, with the current pandemic, things are different and I find myself appreciating the simple

things, the small things, the things which are in front of us everyday which we so often take for

granted – in my case, the wonders of nature. A message of HOPE.

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 22

c Steven Tutino

The Floating Experiment

By R. Gerry Fabian

Take me slowly and carefully to your lilacs

So I may watch them bloom at this the peak

Of what we have so cautiously planted.

From the door yard, I smell the fragrance

That has become the union of our natural love.

You own the spring and ignite each separate bloom

While I have tended every bud into blossom.

It is a southern breeze that sets us in motion

Until we become the very essence of the air.

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 22


The Closest Place to Home

By Sarah Fairbanks


s the sun rises, light spreads through the

camp, eventually reaching the back room

where I lay in peaceful slumber. Opening

my eyes, I deeply inhale the earthiness of

the uninsulated wooden walls, which keep me closely

connected to the natural world. I allow the sun to pull

me upright and through the front wall of windows the

lake spreads out before me and my heart begins to


"Ping," an acorn bombs the roof; "Pitter patter,"

sound the chipmunk's scampering feet. Now fully

alert, I swing out of bed, excited to start another day at

the lake. As I cross the front room, the worn wooden

floor gently receives each footfall. Reaching the door,

I step outside and as I start down the stairs, the

slickness of the dew-laden steps alerts my body to take

them slowly. I move towards the outhouse, each step

placed carefully to navigate the minefield of acorns


Upon returning to the camp unharmed, I open the

drawer that houses the coffee mugs, causing them to

clank symphonically against one another. “Snap,”

goes the cap on the plastic water bottle. “Glug glug,”

sounds the water as I pour it into the back of the

machine. “Pop,” the pod is in place.

I step out onto the small landing atop the stairs to

brush my teeth while gazing at the lake and waiting

for my coffee to brew. I scan the neighbor’s yard,

hoping they have not arrived in the night, never

knowing when they will be there. Some visits are

quiet while others are not. Lake life forces me to


Moments later, the freshly brewed coffee beckons

me inside as it permeates my wooden retreat. Pouring

a cup, I grab a book and return outside. Heading to the

peninsula on the right side of the property, I pass the

hammock and kayaks, stepping through the circle of

tall pine trees that surround the fire pit, arriving at the

edge of the lake. I plop down on a lounge chair and

gaze out at the water, the view unobstructed. Other

than the occasional bark, the lake remains quiet, it

being too early for speed boats and loud child’s play.

The water moves gently, occasionally lapping the

shores, rocking me into a meditative state which

triggers a trip down memory lane.

This lake has been a part of my life since

inception. My mom, aunt and uncle grew up on

Stodge Meadow. My uncle now lives in my

grandparent’s old house which is two doors down

from the camp. Days began by clamoring into bed

with Nana and Grandpa and ended with Grandpa

serenading us with his harmonica. My mouth goes dry

as I recall the Swedish hardtack bread that Nana often

served for a snack. Scenes from “Star Wars” and

“Anne of Green Gables” rush before my eyes as I

recite lines from the only movies they owned. I see my

younger self standing on the lower lawn, the silky

American flag in my hand. Grandpa nods, our nightly

ritual begins. We fold the flag in half simultaneously,

twice. Next, I fold one of my corners down and

carefully make my way to him, fold by fold.

As an adult I have spent numerous summers here

filled with gales of laughter echoing off the lake

brought on by outlandish charading. Puzzled looks

and silence abounded as Alex Trebek reads an answer

from nana and grandpa’s 1950’s version of Jeopardy.

Cousinpoolozas born years after Nana and Grandpa

passed, entailing drinking and playing games around

the fire. Full-blown dance parties came into existence

in my uncle’s living room or my aunt’s side porch,

running the gamut from square dancing to 80s rock. I

can’t be sure that Nana would approve of this garish

behavior, but I know she would be happy we are all


"Plunk.” “Splash." The resident ducks launch

themselves into the water causing me to jump,

depositing me back in the present. Grabbing my stuff,

I follow them, walking thru the grove of blueberry

bushes. Reaching the left peninsula, I walk out onto

the dock, water now almost completely surrounding

me, morphing into Lakshmi, floating upon a lily pad,

emanating peace.

One foot still in the past, I smile recalling hours of

blissful fun spent in the water as a child. A particular

summer tugs at me – the year an old piece of

Styrofoam floated into the cove. Every day my uncle,

brother and I attempted to balance on it

simultaneously. Hours passed in harmony, forever

reminding me that fun can be found with the simplest

things. Nowadays I am more likely to be caught

floating on a tube, beer in hand but similarities remain,

I am still in the water and I still get sunburned.

Subconsciously I place my hands on my shoulders.

While the sun is not yet at its full strength, it has

warmed me and I’m ready to cool off. Climbing down

the rungs of the ladder, I slowly enter the water.

Pushing away from the dock, I fully submerge myself.

Immediately my thoughts are silenced. The world

above is hidden. Peace and calm surround me and I

am cleansed, safe and happy.

As I begin to run out of breath, I say a silent prayer

and push towards the surface. My head exits the water

as I arch towards the sky. Water runs off my head and

my face, falling back into the lake. After repeating my

(Continued on page 26)

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 17 | 24

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 25

AC Photography—stock.adobe.com

(Continued from page 24)

ritual several times, I lazily swim to the dock.

Pulling myself up the ladder, I lay down on my

towel to dry off.

It dawns on me that it would have been

challenging to fight the hold the lake has on me as

lakes are a big part of Finnish life. Not only is the

lake chocked full of memories, but the love of

water is in my DNA: Finland filled with numerous

lakes and most households possessing a sauna.

Here in the New World, especially in central

Massachusetts, you often find groups of Finns who

relocated to a lake, building saunas and continuing

to run from its heat to the cold lake and then back


As I am dozing off, the dock subtly vibrates as

footsteps land upon it. I raise my head, and hear,

“Hey Cuz, sorry to wake you. Can we borrow your


“You bet,” I reply sitting up. “Wanna hike Mt

Hunger when you return?”

“Absolutely,” he replies as I head inside the

camp to retrieve the oars.

After watching my cousin and his friend push

off, I scan the yard, noticing a few games that

weren’t put away and a couple of bottle caps that

didn’t get picked up. Bending to retrieve them, I

laugh as I recall yesterday’s intense gaming

session. "Woosh," the birdy whizzes past me,

almost clipping my ear. “Boom,” the frisbee slams

into the side of the plastic tub before flopping onto

the ground. “Bam,” a stub of birch sings as it is

flattened, followed by cheers because another

game of Molki has been won.

My task complete, I happily retrieve my book

and move to the circular nook that sits between the

camp and the dock. Blueberry bushes provide

privacy and the overhanging boughs, a bit of

shade. As I sit, once again I am drawn to the water

because though my permanent address is

elsewhere, sitting lakeside in Ashburnham feels

like a Homecoming. The lake as close as I have

gotten to having a home town because it is the one

place, in all my traveling as a military child, that

we always returned to.

Eventually opening my book, over an hour

passes reading. The only interruption occurs when

my stomach grumbles and I get up in search of

food. Another hour later, my cousin returns,

having gathered a few more cousins along the

way. We head off to hike, following the same trail

our grandparents took when leading our parents on

Sunday afternoon excursions.

An hour later, having conquered Mt Hunger

once again, I return to the camp while my cousins

head to their respective homes. I immediately

jump into the lake, the cool water soothing and

relieving the aches and pains obtained on the hike.

The light begins to fade as I extract myself from

the water, reluctantly accepting that another day is

at a close. I head inside to change and then walk

over to my Uncle’s for dinner.

Buffet style or more formal, inside or out, we

gather and eat in comfort and unabashed abandon.

Each of us having thoroughly enjoyed another day

at the lake. As the last dessert plate is emptied, the

Elders attempt to stifle their yawns, but the

Youngins have caught them. We say good night to

the Elders and move to the fire pit after loading up

on beers. The electronic hot potato is passed from

person to person as we holler out answers.

Someone plays DJ and turns up the tunes.

Requests are made and Phil Collins always stops

by. One by one, people begin to fade. The group

diminishes until it is just me and the sky.

Making sure the embers are out, I walk to the

dock and look up at the sky. The stars shine

brighter here than at home, they are vivid and

vibrant. I sit down on the dock, regretting all the

food I ate but overflowing with peace, as tranquil

as the calm lake, now devoid of swimmers and

speed boats. Eventually the cooler air or mosquitos

chase me indoors. Before they do, I take one more

look at the lake and the stars, taking a deep breath,

filling my lungs with their grace. Grateful that my

parents bought this camp and with it, access to the

lake and a foothold to my heritage. Grateful there

is no internet, no cable, no cell phone access here.

It is back to basics, just me and the water and the


Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 26

Halcyon Days - 2020 Issue 18 | 27

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