A Golden Thread 3

The English cousin called it a golden thread.  The filament that brings them all back each year, to this place, to each other.

end of summer sunrise

end of summer sunrise

They’ve known each other since they were toddlers.  Our children, the neighbors from Carbonneau, scattered friends, the English cousins… They’ve been playing Marco Polo in the deep end of the pool since they could swim.  Years of kayak rides down the Dordogne, croquet in the afternoons, “Deux-Cent-Un” around the old trees at dusk… Now in their twenties, they bring along girlfriends and boyfriends to play, toasting après-game with a glass of wine on the terrace.

rings in the old tree

game of rings in the old tree

All year long we anticipate this brief burst of youthful summer energy – their joy rediscovering each other, the walks, bike rides, intimate talks, group songfests in the middle of the night, voices carrying over the valley.

remains of the game

remains of the game

And then one day, they vanish.  I pick up the pieces of their games and am engulfed in a tide of summer’s end melancholy.  No, it’s worse than melancholy, my heart fragments as I note the light has changed, the brilliance of early August becoming the painful, soft light of September.

empty chairs

I permit myself a moment to stop and begrudge the change of season.

They are embossed on my inner landscape, these children who return each year like swallows, with their sacred lists of must-do experiences and traditions…

To this old place of anchors and golden threads.


Danté waiting for their return

waiting for their return


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3 thoughts on “A Golden Thread

  • Laura Sandifer McGown

    A wonderfully vivid description of the changes of the season and times! The view from the deck is outstanding…hope to see it sometime.

  • BEA

    Mary, you are an amazing writer — you’ve captured such a precious aspect of life and memory, place and season, in such thoughtful words and images! Thank you!

  • Claire

    oh my incredibly well said. and yes those long shadows which announce the end of summer are so poignant. filaments, ties, webs, connections,…