Monday, January 02, 2006

Walking to Long Pond

Today Sven and I went for a long walk through the National Seashore. We took the path to Dyer Pond, then turned left on the far side of Long Pond. There were trees down everywhere from the freak storm several weeks ago. Three enormous old pines had fallen in one yard. We wondered if the owners knew about the damage.

We walked down to a beach. No one was around. It was so quiet there. The water, see-through clear. The surface barely moved. (Long Pond, in this March photo, is edged with a crust of snow.) The only sound was the wind through the pines. It reminded me of Lake Ladoga, featured in Andrei Zvyagintsev's excellent 2003 film "The Return" .

When we passed the Kepes' house, I told Sven that they had been friends of my parents. Gyorgy was Hungarian. They were both artists. We have a watercolor upstairs Juliet did of birds. The house sits perched on a gentle wooded slope, completely surrounded by nature. What a peaceful place to paint! I peered in one window and saw some unfinished canvases, tucked away against a wall. There was a table under the deck, splattered with red, blue, yellow and green. We imagined their lives. Swimming at their private beach, gaily calling to grandchildren, eating at the picnic table outside illuminated by the sun setting at the far side of the pond. Sven commented how sad it is that they are not with us anymore. People die. Life continues.

We pushed on. Being a Lyme-Disease veteran, I couldn't help but notice the dead oak leaves everywhere, a perfect bed for deer ticks. No doubt there were many sleeping in the underbrush. I worry about the foreign tourists who hike through the National Seashore during the summer, ignorant of the danger ticks present, people who may return home infected with Borrelia.

We passed a real estate sign indicating a cottage for sale. The small building needed repair. A flyer told us the asking price was $1,250,000. A lot to pay for a water view! Wellfleet is becoming so expensive that the children of natives find it hard to purchase homes. Every single house along the far side of the pond was closed up. It doesn't seem right. Such a beautiful spot, and no one to enjoy it but us. I would have thought some of the owners would have come for the holiday, but no. Summer people! They do not know how special Wellfleet is in the Quiet Season.