Somes Pond may look ordinary but it’s not.
Three couples walk to Somes Pond from their homes on Oak Hill Road at different times of day. Without air conditioning, it’s the way to cool off on hot and humid summer days. One woman in a bright blue swimsuit, with a towel flashing the same color wrapped around her, heads to the pond daily. She wades in and swims steadily for a long way, almost to the other side.
One friend and her partner have been known to swim pushing a cooler, laden with snacks and books, to the giant rock that’s behind the branches in the photo. My friend brought floating noodles to the pond for us to use this week. As we bobbed in the water for hours, we talked about time passing. We went to shore when our hands looked like prunes.
Another summer, this friend and I paddled around the pond in her rubber kayak, past the eagles’ nesting place to a tiny cottage with a tiny dock. Cars driving along the water’s edge where we had come from looked so small.
One couple swims early in the morning or in the evening when the pond is all theirs. I’m told that loons cry hauntingly during those quieter times.
During the winter quiet these three couples may share soup at a neighborhood potluck. Community matters on this island, more than in most places. Friends here have become family over the years. We know when something’s wrong.
The friend who brought the floating noodles drove south yesterday to see her sister and brother-in-law who has that damn C disease. (My father would spell it out years ago c-a-n-c-e-r so we kids wouldn’t get what he was saying. But we knew).
I’m not sure if Somes Pond freezes in the winter. But I know that we will return to swim, laugh and grow older in its velvety water. Just as long as can.