So to give Maggie the lake, with its rich presence, the birds, warm rocks, the pines, and even a gun, the Swamp Angel itself, to drop finally into the water, was to give a woman an everlasting place in the landscape. As horses ran through the grass of the Jocko Creek Ranch, the Two-Bit, and others unknown to me, women who loved lakes also unknown to me but Maggie’s was on any map if you knew the code. Knew the legend.
A month from today, I’ll be sitting on the shores of Lac Le Jeune, watching my grandchildren fish with their grandfather. I’ll be thinking about Ethel Wilson and her husband, one of them rowing, the other casting. I’ll be listening for loons and remembering a walk at one end of the lake in 2003 when I saw a wood duck jump down from a nesting box in a tree, followed the her ducklings, one two three. I’ll take a copy of my new book so that it too can know the lake it contains in its pages. Maybe I’ll even leave a copy on a bench.