Today was hot in Maine. Rachel and I groomed a lot of dogs, and despite fans moving air and cool clothes, I was uncomfortable. When the last dog left for the day it took me about 2 minutes to ditch my hot, dog-hair encrusted clothes and don a bathing suit. All I could think about was heading to the lake for a dip.
The place we like to swim is not terribly popular, but sometimes there are 6 or so people there. I was hoping for solitude. When I got there I found two people sitting in chairs, admiring the scenery. No one was in the water. I was elated. What I craved was cool seclusion, and there it was, undulating before me.
In no time I had my towel and keys stashed, my shoes shucked off, and was wading into the cool, clear water. I walked until I was chest deep, then pushed off, welcoming the chill embrace. I swam a ways out, watching a man in a kayak glide past, a Great Blue Heron flap overhead and land on the reedy shore. It was then that I noticed, maybe 20 feet away, a loon. (This is not my picture, I found it on the 'net.)
I have a bit of a thing for loons. It borders on adoration. It all began on our honeymoon. We stayed in Ellsworth, Maine, at a far flung place called, "Crummet's Cedar Cabins." Our little cabin was on the lake shore, and my love and I delighted to hear loons calling every night. I still am enchanted to hear their voices plaintively calling. And they are amazingly beautiful to look at. They are big birds, and a bit shy, so when I catch a glimpse of one it is always a treat. And here I was, treading water, with a lovely loon at face level. I'm pretty sure I held my breath while I watched it preen it's feathers. And then it dipped its head and dove, heading my way. I became as still as I could, watching to see where it would pop up. I pivoted my head from side to side. Nothing broke the calm surface.
Long moments passed. Then a piercing cry, just behind me to the left. Slowly I turned my head... not 10 feet from my face was the exquisite loon. I could see every speckled feather, and it's mesmerizing eye. It floated there, looking back at me, for one long, magical moment, then ducked below the surface and vanished in a ripple.
My life is riddled with enchanting moments. This one was more memorable than most... seeing a loon face to face. More than I could ever dream of.