Having seen it again, I remember now the life thriving in the lake. You marvel at any number of weird, frothy, spiky, spindly, straggling slimy green and spotted brown plants, floating and swaying under the rippling surface and above the rippled brown sand, and ...
... there are bluegills, swimming right around the pier. You will recognize them by the dark spots behind their gills, and by their prettily swishing, delicately pale blue tails.
Other creatures swim right around the pier too. The fish scatter when this goes past.
I suspect, talking of memories, we must have gone out rowing a lot when I was little. This is the view of the cottage I remember best. You have to be afloat to see it so.
As you row your boat, extremely clumsily at first, the water dripping off each oar makes an arc of identical circular ripples on the surface of the lake, over and over again. The splashing sound is small and chortling, on a quiet day. Small things.
And, years ago, when you did a lot of this --
...you left footprints like this. I had forgotten this small detail, until I left similar tracks again, merely from wading I assure you. I think I used to try and get back on the pier and jump in before the sun had dried my last set of prints.
Today the cottage's owners -- same family who rented to us, second generation -- provide a guestbook for people to write in. Quite a few parents and grandparents remark on the children's delight in "dock jumping." I wish I and my kids could have done the same, but you need to be as weightless as a five year old, as per the photo of me in green above, for jumping off the pier to be any fun. Adults attempting it would plunge into about fifteen inches of water, and then sink probably thigh-deep in muck. The lake bottom is politely labeled "organic," on the map drawn up by the Michigan Fisheries Institute, or some such useful and starchy organization.
Anyway of course it isn't all sun, fun, and nostalgia. There are still also a lot of horseflies. They make you do this.