The cottage has a life of its own. Its secret is palpable. It’s clear that the wind and waves have played passionately here. And the air inside is still and smells of a million bright memories. Sunshine is thick, the smile of it bursting within, the reflection of it shimmery on the water without. All the fond things inside—the baskets, the kitchen utensils, the wicker chairs—are exactly as they were left on the last good day of summer. And there’s a feel, as if the cottage has hustled to put everything back where it belongs on hearing footsteps crunch the stones outside. But it’s obvious the serenity of early morning fogs, the beauty of the days, and the cycles of the moon have not only been its daily guests, but have long accepted the cottage as one of their own. Joy follows relief to feel this, to see with certainty that this special place in my heart will remain safe and just as I leave it, each time I leave it—in good company. And when I return again to help shore it up for the winter months, it will act as now, as if nothing at all has happened, or moved beneath the stars.