In the Gloaming

After all the stresses of today, which started with discovering the break-in of our car and then continued through some unpacking and assembling of our pot and spice racks (only one of which ultimately is hanging straight and the other will need re-doing) I thought it would be a good idea to get out of the house this afternoon.

We hadn’t gone to explore the nearest park until today, though I’ve caught glimpses of the climbing structure over a slight rise and through some trees when we go by on the bus on our way home in the evening. I got both boys into the stroller around 4pm after giving up the struggle to hang the spice rack straight and we set off around the corner to Ellis Lake Park. I wasn’t sure what to expect park-wise in Concord since it’s a new city for us, but was pleasantly surprised by a nice, colorful, metal-and-plastic climbing structure with slides for all ages and a swing set just over the hill. The play areas are set back slightly from the lake itself and there’s a path that goes all the way around the lake.

Many water fowl live in the lake and they seem to be accustomed to being fed because the moment we approached the lakeshore they converged upon us expectantly. So rapid was their approach and so numerous were the ducks and geese, that for a moment I thought they were going to bowl us right over. Thankfully they did not and I found a couple of abandoned cookies in the bottom of the stroller to crumble up and scatter along the land for them to eat.

Vic hopped up on a series of logs driven into the edge of the lake to form a low barrier between the water’s edge and the overlook area and perched there, leaning dangerously over the water. I asked him not to go so close and take a step back but he just laughed and said “Don’t worry Mama, I not fall in!”

Of course, 5 minutes later a little bit further down the shoreline where there was no retaining wall and a steep incline down to the water, he slid a bit and got his feet stuck in the mud in the shallows. I’d been distracted by grabbing onto Julien’s shirttails to keep him from doing a header into the lake and was clipping him into the stroller when Vic tore off for his little escapade. The incline he’d slid down was steep enough that I didn’t want to risk climbing down after him, so I unwound the sling from the stroller and tossed him the end. He grabbed on and pulled himself out and avoided sliding any further into the lake so that only his shoes, socks and the bottoms of his pants got wet.

The incident signaled the end of our outing however and I hustled us all back home through the gathering dusk. Julien fell asleep in the stroller on the way home so it was easy enough to have Vic strip down, toss his wet stuff right into the wash and then bundle him up in new warm, dry things with a dire warning to stay out of the lake next time.

It’s a beautiful spot, a little oasis of wildness in the middle of an urban landscape. The gloom was gathering under the trees as we left and the mist crept in. The sun dipped down behind the treeline, its last hurrah imbuing the mist with a silvery pink light that looked almost faerie-like in the gloaming.

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In the gloaming, oh my darling
When the lights are soft and low
And the quiet shadows falling
Softly come and softly go