ON THE WATERFRONT, there are favorite sights and sounds and smells and feelings. Reminders and remembrances. A stout old chain that moors the dock is a relic from logging days a century ago. Floating ‘spacer’ logs are the remnants of once-tall white pines. A gangplank I constructed 25 years ago with Bryan’s help when he was just a boy, facilitating the transport of groceries and dogs and cats and grandparents, continues to do its job. A boulder rests where it was gently deposited 10,000 years ago by a departing glacier. A bench my dad used to sit on with me, reconstructed after a flood broke it apart, still observes the sunsets. And there are the old stone steps up to the cabin that we have climbed a thousand times. Meanwhile the dock creaks and moans in a slight breeze, the sounds of water and rope and wood seeming to blend with the echoes of voices now departed. But the song of the white-throated sparrow is as clear and fresh as it was the day we first set foot on the island, eager to learn all its moods and secrets. The waterfront is the doorway to all of that, and it is good on a quiet and sunny afternoon to just sit. And listen. And reflect. And appreciate the gift of simple things.

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