Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy…

Spring has slammed into summer like a renegade shopping cart in a crowded parking lot. The leaves are already dark-green chlorophyll buffets for tiny caterpillars with an indeterminant place on the food chain. In the coniferous corner, this year is turning out to be a bumper crop for fir babies. Every variety of evergreen is proudly sporting a crown of pinecones, hoping each one will become its own tiny perfect tree. And to make sure of this, they are emitting clouds of pollen which, if you squint and turn your head a certain way, looks like mist rising from the water. I am pretty sure this is pollen overkill, but try reasoning with a tree.

The water level at the lake has been going up and down without rhyme or reason. But as we all know, neither rhyme nor reason have any standing at the cottage. Take last Monday, for example. The day dawned clear and sparkling. As calm and serene as a family of loons out for a morning swim. Just as the sun reached its midday arc in the relentlessly blue sky, the power sputtered, came back on for a nanosecond, then plunged the radio back into silence. I was the first to phone it in and Jennifer at Hydro One (or as we fondly refer to it, Hydro None) seemed as baffled as me as to why the power had gone AWOL. “Are you the only one out?”, she asked, probably getting ready to move down the checklist for ladies who may not have a complete grasp on whether the power is really off at #482 Island 290. Stuff like: did you check your circuit breakers? Is your fridge plugged in? Are you sure the radio station isn’t just off the air? Can you confirm you’re actually connected to the grid?

The rest of the lake is welcome to thank me for my promptness. Turns out the power was out for about four hours for most of the Six Mile real estate, a minor inconvenience in the scheme of things. Not enough to spoil milk or melt Popsicles if you are restrained enough not to check on their welfare every fifteen minutes. Inexplicably, according to Hydro None the cause of the outage was a traffic accident. I’m guessing someone was distracted by the dazzling noon sunlight reflecting off the mirror of the lake, swerved off the road, and severed an under-water cable. Or maybe that’s not what really happened. Anyhow, all’s well that ends well and at least I didn’t have to cart the contents of my freezer home when we left at the end of the day.

Also on the plus side of the equation, the changes in water level have left rows of pollen sediment on the rocks by the shore. Bracelets the hue of bargain basement saffron cling to the granite like inside-out rings on a tree. A better person than me would have taken an award-winning photo or created an ethereal painting that sells for $1 million at auction. But accidental beauty like this is what makes it worth the itchy eyes and stuffed up sinuses. At least that’s what I tell myself.

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