We took a quick trip out to Eklutna Lake the other day. Just when we thought summer was long past, we woke up to warm air and crisp sparkling sunshine and forced our way out once more into the wilderness. We spend the afternoon collecting crumbling leaves and throwing rocks into the lake. As the light started to dim we reluctantly piled back into the car for the sad drive back home.
On the way out of the park, we noticed an ice cream shop that was about to close. We got there just in time to buy several scoops of fireweed honey ice cream in cones for each of us, before the nice old lady inside slid the window shut for the season. We sat at a picnic table and licked at our treats and joked back and forth about who’s cone tasted better. We were happy. And for the next ten minutes every car that drove by on the road, saw us and skidded to a halt pulling in to get ice cream of their own, only to be disappointed when they discovered the shop was closed. But the crowd continued to grow and eventually, the ice cream shop was forced to open back up by demand of the jovial mob who kept calling to the poor old woman inside. They wouldn’t leave until they could get a fistful of their own cool magic.
So, we formed a little community there on the fading grass. A group of strangers, united by ice cream, joined by a burning desire to make summer last as long as possible, standing just outside the closing door, begging for one last scoop to take with us as we drove on into the ice and snow of winter.