We returned to the lake last year. Or, rather, what was left of the lake. It used to be enormous. The water would hit the hills from right to left. And we would swim in it. We would dive jumping off that boulder over there. Making cannonballs to see who made the biggest splash. We would float to the center in our canoe. Too tired to swim back.

But now that lake is smaller. The sun has burned its edges. And we are taller, older, different. We wouldn’t be the ones jumping off that boulder again. Instead, we make a fire on the parched land. Breaking brittle branches to burn. We roast marshmallows. We tell stories. We come back. Year after year.

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