They were told this was where Great Grandpa learned to fish. Over the years, the twins heard much about him. They were so young when he passed.

Just three.

Great Grandma said Great Grandpa came down every morning as soon as the sun started to leak over the mountain. Day after day, year after year, he came down without fail. Great Grandma said wandering off on his own was something he did a lot of. He’d say, “Well you know Mama, I always come back” and she’d light up and giggle. Like she did whenever she talked about him.

Like now.

She said he’d go down to the waterline, fishing pole in hand, and cast for hours. Or he’d come down and swim when the weather was mild. He spent countless time walking all the land and gathering up colored rocks of various shapes and sizes. Those for his prized collection- the one he always showed off so proudly. Great Grandma said Great Grandpa would find a  grassy place to sit and paint scenes of this place.

Much of the time he was sitting at the edge of the pier, legs dangling over.

“Always lollygagging he was,” she said.

The twins had gotten to Fairview early this morning, a three-hour drive. When they arrived, they immediately walked down the trail that led to the water, even before seeing Great Grandma. Great  Grandpa took so many pictures here, and when Great Grandma would tell the stories, she’d make the boys get the shoebox of photos out from under the bed and she’d root through reminiscing.

The twins stood silently and looked over the panorama. Photos didn’t do this place justice.

“Your great grandpa would say to me, ‘Mama, you know we never coulda predicted how things’d turn out for us, right?”

He meant with their Grandma.

Great Grandma knew he was right.

They walked the same trail Great Grandpa used to walk. One brother bent and started rooting through rocks. He picked up a smooth flat sea foam one and slipped it in his pocket. They walked out to the end of the dock and sat on the edge lollygagging, legs dangling over. Great Grandma showed them the watercolors that Great Grandpa did here, and there were many, all dusty and rolled up, in various stages of the seasons, some never finished. Now as they looked over the waterline, none of it seemed new. Even the squawking of the geese flying overhead was imprinted on their minds.

Dad said his Grandpa never sat still. Great Grandma said, “The only one he’d ever be still for was  your father.

They’d seen this place since forever.

One twin said, “I can feel them here.”


Art by Eva Englund



4 thoughts on “WATERLINE

  1. Fabulous, quiet tenderness. I guess only dedicated fishermen go out everyday. Very nice piece you’ve written.

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