The Rocks at Naples Lake

A boy with marine-short blond hair clambered over the edge of the rocks into the water — wearing a blue T-shirt displaying the evolution of man from coelacanth through the primate stages to the eventual homo-sapiens as an ice-hockey player. Exhorting his brothers, and sisters, to follow him. A sunburned red-skinned mother unsorted and assembled folding chairs on the sand while the children splashed and waded out into the water. The boy in the blue evolution T-shirt was swaggering his way forward into the water carrying a brand-new plastic fishing rod with a huge and already tangled reel clicking like a bicycle wheel in gear as he advanced foot by foot over the granite rocks. His companions clambered from rock to rock in an effort to stay dry and watch him fish from the furthermost rocks.

“moving creatures here” the rocks chortled happily — within the bay the refrain was picked up by the black sparkling pebbles and grey sands started to oscillate in sympathy. The pine trees crackling in the heat, and overhanging the bay could hear the messaging but chose to ignore it as beneath their interest, devoting their attention to gently seeping resin and jettisoning pine cones — too much was happening between their branches and under their canopy to become interested in such passing interferences in their vicinity. The wind from across the lake was pushing their branches methodically and threatening to bring them the rain clouds which they feared for the cold — but anticipated with pleasure as the sandy ground beneath them was dry and exhausted — they were thirsty and dreaded fire on days such as this.

Rushing to put on waterproof rubber sandals and catch up with the others, Kayleen inadvertently filled her left shoe with pebbles that crushed against her toes — so she sat on the sand and took them off again tipping the contents onto the beach. She brushed the sand from her feet and squinting thought the sun’s rays bouncing straight into her face from the water as the boys advanced away from her. “Wait up” she called — the boys ignored her and her elder sister glanced back splaying her hands apart in a gesture meaning — “what are you waiting for?” and scooped them up to her chest summoning her sister to “hurry up.” Kayleen finished putting her shoes on again hurriedly splashed into the shallow waters and clambered up onto the first rock in a series of boulders that protruded from the water creating a causeway out into the bay.

Across the lake the mountains detected the murmur of the rocks calling through the soil and through the sunlit waters in overlapping notes “here moving here, creatures moving here, moving creatures moving here.”

Kayleen’s mother settled into an unfolded chair hoisting her shoulders between the sides of the beach chair with a cell phone nestled between her chin and red-burned left shoulder as reached for a plastic pink bottle of sunscreen. Once a year Kayleen’s parents and their friends rented cabins beside the Lake — the husbands were all firefighters from the FDNY EO55 on Broome Street in Manhattan, and brought two (and sometimes three) sets of bagpipes with them to play at 4:00pm each day between the trees while the campfires started up for barbecuing supper and the smoke filled the trees.

The rocks under the children in the bay’s favorite expressions included “wet cold,” “now light coming,” and “moving creatures here” which they repeated excitedly now in a constant overlapping murmur. And as far as the mountains across the other side of the lake, who would repeat it themselves until it passed south and subterraneanly through thegranite state like a slow moving shiver.

Kayleen rushing to catch up with the others slips forward adjusting her shoe to dislodge a pebble from her plastic sandal and falls face first into the next rock in her path. With a quiet wooden sound, and a short splash she slips into the water between the two rocks and feels an intense relief from the task of having to catch up with the others, “I can just rest here” she thinks to herself blinking and looking down into the water. Above her head a pink vapour trail appears like wafting incense in the water — and she wonders how the rock knows her name. “Moving creature Kayleen coming to visit here.” Said the rock to her with a smile.

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