August 12, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on August 11, 2018

A couple of days ago, A. and I went on an afternoon outing in the general direction of Gloucester. At the first rotary on Rt.128 we decided on Lanesville, or rather Annisquam. It was a picture-perfect afternoon, some summer heat but nothing intolerable, a bit of haze over distant views, but not enough to impact one’s immediate atmosphere. That remained fresh and invigorating, especially by the water.

We parked on a side street at Annisquam’s tiny library and walked over to the footbridge that crosses the inlet at Bridgewater Street. A marvelous sight. Grown men climbing on the railings and jumping off, one teaching his c. 10-year-old children (girls!) how to do it (and they did) while their mother filmed them from the vantage point of the attached pier, about twelve or so feet below. Then, older girls doing the same – diving off the bridge. A group of unsupervised kids, c. 8 to 13 years old, playing in the water with a very large sailboard, one of those things with a two-foot long “fin” attached to its bottom. They kept overloading it, all trying to climb on, then, when it overturned – tossing them back in the water – they’d try to right it by nearly breaking off the fin. They always managed to get it upright again, but I seriously wondered how long the little craft would be able to withstand the abuse. They were entirely unchaperoned by any adults, and they too were alternately swimming back to the pier, clambering up the ramp to the bridge, mounting the 3-1/2 foot high railing, and jumping off the bridge’s c. 12 foot height into the water.

I was really happy to see these young kids having fun like this, without adults hovering over their every move. And the views and the scenery …like a postcard, from a long-gone era. But here it still was, with independent children and all. A., who has serious second thoughts about just exactly where he should build a life for himself, said, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we all lived sort of around here?”

It’s that pretty; and beauty is seductive.

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