There was a tiny islet that was my personal airy from which I could view the cove. When things were awful, I could row out and use it as a place to rant noisily. None other than the shorebirds heard me.
When I had first started learning to row, I used it as a target; get to it, row around it, and then row back to the landing. Then I started taking breaks from rowing on the islet. In the very center of the islet were a tumbled-down tar paper shack and a fire ring. During the summer, I began to use the firepit as an amenable cookout location. Unfortunately, nobody in the cove seemed to know who built the shack. I was clueless about who might own the island, and I didn’t care after a while. It was mine by Eminent Domain.
I was safe in my isolation. The only time my wife accompanied me was in May, and the blackflies found her too tasty to leave be. So after that, the islet was left to me alone.
As late summer approached, I began preparing to return to school, and the visits to the islet ceased.
Spinney, a boatyard owner I worked for, called up to give me the news in January. The islet’s owner had sold it, and in the spring, a new cottage would get built on it.
Late in May, I went rowing. I used the islet as my target, rowed around it, but did not land. Piles of construction materials covered the site, and the shorebirds had abandoned the location for less noisy areas.
The other day I was enraged at some silly thing and found myself wishing that I could return my islet for a good holler and yell session. Then I wondered if it even existed anymore or for how much longer it would continue to exist. Back when a good spring tide could put all but half of it awash. With rising ocean levels, a high spring tide might soak the living room of the cottage soon.
I wondered but resisted the urge to check Google Earth. Instead, I wanted to remember the islet as it had been, tarpaper shack, fire ring, and shorebirds. Sometimes technology spoils things.