The smell of pine and cedar floats through the air, carried by the thick humidity of a rare summer storm. It is hot and the sky is bright, the sun's light diffused almost blindingly across a grey sky.
The trees are thicker, greener, their branches buoyed by last season’s record snowfall. Water drips lazily in cool droplets that scatter the deck, falling into wine glasses and potted plants without regard. The earthy musk that wraps around me is a reminder of how inorganic my life is most days. At home, when it rains, the water hits pavement or oil soaked asphalt and runs off almost immediately into an ocean or reservoir somewhere.
Up here, on a humid July afternoon, the rain smells good. It hits the thick cover of last season’s pine needles and the dried remains of plants that froze in the Winter and never woke up in the Spring. Dad is fiddling with something somewhere, the cabin an endless series of projects whose completion is neither assured nor important. The dogs lay sleeping, unbothered by the damp air.
Once in a while, a cool wind ripples the flag and shakes a few more needles from the tree. They fall, a few at a time, onto the deck that was swept this morning. They will keep falling until the deck needs to be swept again, they will fall while it is being swept, and they will fall after it has been swept. Shaken from the branches by the wind or pulled to the ground by gravity, they will eventually find their way off the tree in a hundred different directions.
It is slow. It is quiet. It is still. This is why I come here.