It’s sunset on the Sunday night of the third week of May 2018. Cottage opening weekend for Fancy Free Island. I’m sitting on the back porch of Fancy Free cottage looking out over Big Rideau Lake, now a golden glimmer in the setting sun.
All around me on the island there are sounds. The air is alive. Somewhere close by I can hear loons calling to each other in their haunting low wail. A song sparrow lifts its voice melodically over and over close to me in the honeysuckle bush. A kingfisher is sweeping low in between Fancy Free island in the channel, and as it flies it makes its chattering call. There’s a phoebe nesting out under the rafters of the boathouse. Its call is so insistent, Phoebe Phoebe.
A pair of robins have decided to build their nest right on our front porch, weaving bits of grass in and out around a three-pronged hook that we usually hang our hats on. We found the first egg this afternoon. This has created a problem. Now we can’t go out onto our front porch lest we frighten the robins off the nest. We can’t use the door that we normally use to get into the cottage and have spent the afternoon sneaking in and out by side doors and back doors.
I am struck by the idea that we humans on Fancy Free Island really only borrow this place for a few days of the year from the animals that live here all year round .
The lake is very peaceful now, very still, only a few ripples on the surface. The trees that fringe the island are silhouetted in the slanting sunlight. The water was golden only a few minutes ago and now it’s turned pink and orange as the sun slips beneath the horizon.
This must be what it’s like living inside a poem.