“Oh!” Barb pulled back and swung her head right and left, looking at the shoulders of her t-shirt that now had hand-shaped splotches of clay. She laughed. “No big deal. I never come out of pottery class unscathed!”
Barb used her t-shirt to wipe her tears from her eyes and managed to get eyeliner on the material. She looked at me and shrugged. We laughed again and her throughly dirty shirt.
”The bowl looks terrific!” Barb patted my shoulder and we turned our attention back to the pottery. “OK let’s get it off here!” Barb demonstrated how to remove the bowl and then gently placed it along side several other pieces that were drying. “After it dries, you paint it and then I will fire it in the kiln.”
”Thanks so much Barb. And hey, let me know if I can help in anyway tomorrow when you pick up Bill.” Barb nodded and gave me a side hug. “Now go wash your hands.” She pointed toward the sink.
“Who’s next?” Barb called out.
Elaine stood up from her spot at the arts and crafts table, dropping her friendship bracelet and waving her hands in the air. “Meeeee!”
It took many minutes to get the clay washed from my hands and nails. As I stood there I hummed “Unchained Melody” softly to myself. Playing with the clay was a little like being a kid again and playing in the mud except that I had managed, with a lot of help, to create something permanent and beautiful. I finished and I glanced at my watch. I had a few minutes before I had to be ready for bedtime medications, so I decided to sit in the gazebo for a little bit. I bid all adieu from the balcony, exited and turned left to followed the narrow path over to the gazebo.
I had a seat on the bench in the darkened gazebo and sighed and just sat still. It felt good. I let my body relax and melt into the bench and tried to clear my mind of everything. Just breathing. Alas, after the 56th mosquito attack I decided to give it up. But first, I wanted to take one last look at the lake on this beautiful night. I stood up, walked to the edge, placed my elbows on the railing and my chin in my hands and leaned forward, taking it all in as I scanned the horizon.
The view was incredible. Silver moon beams reflected off the gently undulating water with a thick dark forest in the background. I could hear the murmur of voices from arts and crafts and occasionally the harump of a frog, the call of a loon. Of course, more persistently and closer, the whine of those daggnabbit mosquitos.
I tried to ignore the insistent buzzing and I refocused on the sounds of night. I heard the lapping of the water on the rocks below and then I heard a giggle. A shot of terror went through me and I looked down. There, lying on the forest floor below me, I could see two figures locked in an embrace. I froze.