"Oh, listen to that brook! Doesn't it sound simply delicious, girls?" Charlotte exclaimed rapturously.
"I like how jolly they sound, just as if they were laughing at all the world," agreed Becca.
"Oh Becca, not at the world, at least not exactly. That doesn't sound right, somehow." I replied, slightly puzzled by my sister's meaning.
"Well, I guess what I mean is that "it's a world of laughter," Becca smiled.
"As opposed to "a vale of tears," I suppose," Charlotte said.
"Naturally," rejoined Becca, and we all grinned with delight, for there is nothing quite so inwardly pleasing as referencing something among those who understand without asking. (For those who don't know, we were quoting Rainbow Valley, the 7th book in the Anne of Green Gables series, when Faith Merideth says: "The world isn't a vale of tears, Mrs. Taylor. It's a world of laughter.")
Just then, we came to a charming bridge that crossed the "jolly brook," all covered with little mosses and peeling bark - simply perfect!
"Oh look!" I said, pointing off to the left, "you can see the lake from here!"
"Oh boy, it looks fantastic!" Charlotte said.
"Splendiferous!" Becca added.
I looked quizzically at her, "Becca, is that a word?"
She laughed, "That depends on your definition of 'word.' And here we are at the dock!"
And so we were. We walked out and admired the sparkling lake, now clouded over due to the slight breeze blowing over the water.
Becca set her basket down, "Oooh, we should go for a swim!"
"That sounds like fun - but not now, it's not quite hot enough." Charlotte said.
"I'll bet it's beautiful out here at night when the lanterns are lit." I said.
"Yes," Charlotte agreed, dreamily, "imagine floating on the lake at night surrounded by white fairy-lights with only the sounds of crickets and the water lapping the shore."
"I don't think the water really laps the shore around here, it's too marshy," observed Becca.
And with that practical yet very "Becca-ey" thought, we sat down. I retrieved my doll Kirsti and her book, Becca took up her knitting, and Charlotte began to read Swallows and Amazons.
"How perfect that you're reading that book here, on the lake!" Becca commented.
"Isn't it?" Charlotte smiled, "I always like to read books in the setting in which they are, well, set. It makes them even more alive to me!"
After that occurred a time of near silence in which we each enjoyed ourselves - and the lake - in our own way, broken only by occasional comments from Charlotte about the characters in her book and therefore rejoinders by Becca, who has read the series several times.
"Well," sighed Becca, always the least willing of the group to sit for long, "I think I'll take a break from knitting. Here, Charlotte, why don't I take your picture in front of the lake."
"Just let me finish this chapter," Charlotte agreed.
While they took pictures and fiddled with the camera settings (always a mystery to me), I finished Meet Kirsten, desperately trying to keep from crying when Marta died. Thankfully they were quite caught up in their photography, so neither noticed when I quickly wiped my eyes.
We had the loveliest time relaxing out there, and even went swimming later in the day!
Until next time!