Cars are parked in the grass, the overflow under the trees, because the short gravel driveway is already tightly stacked with cars. The noses of the cars all point to the back door, where there is only stillness left from the hauling in of suitcases, coolers, bags of chips and grocery bags overflowing with home-grown produce.
As the breeze tickles the leaves on the trees, I imagine who has arrived in those cars, the faces of the children and cousins, now older, with children of their own. I’m overwhelmed with an impulse to stop by and see those faces – not just to see how they are doing, but selfishly, to bask in the joy that is on everyone’s faces – just because they are all together.
This is what the years have done. Coming up here, year after year, saying hello, walking by to pick a few leaves of mint that grows wild in front of their place, borrow a ski from another, or to commiserate about the low – or too high-water levels, we have given and taken parts of our lives. We have created not just “acquaintances” but a deep lasting sense, of connection, of comradery, and of caring.