The summer I turned 18 was the best summer of my life. Just out of High School with college and our lives awaiting us, my friend Kyle and I spent that halcyon summer in a gatekeeper’s cottage on the East End of Long Island.
The cottage was perfect – two bunk beds, a hot plate, and rent-free; occasionally we’d babysit the owner’s two young children for a few dollars. Every day we rode our bicycles to the Amagansett Farmer’s Market for fresh fruits and vegetables; for entertainment we borrowed books from the library and walked across the street to the beach. We had nothing - and we had everything: the freedom to do nothing all summer, and the future to do everything we could dream of.
That was a long time ago. Some of my dreams never came to pass; some turned out to be not what I had expected. But then other truly amazing things happened instead, and so the twists in the road made up for the dead ends.
My family and I love the East End and vacation there every summer, but it is not the same for me as it was when I was 18. I can never again be that carefree young girl who bicycled to the Amagansett Farmer’s Market; the world and time slowly changed her into a different person, and she will never be seen there again.
Or will she? Two twists in my road were my two daughters, now achingly beautiful and filled with dreams of their own. And as I watch them grow up, sometimes I feel that time has reversed and I’m that 18-year-old girl again. Here is my younger daughter, in front of the Amagansett Farmer’s Market. As she is a part of me, I am there too as I once was, young and lighthearted, dreaming of what my life will be…
Thanks to EffinEffie for editing and test crocheting!