We've been having lovely summer weather, which means not too hot since our first spate of 100-105°F days a couple of weeks ago. My friends P and C and I planned an evening get together at P's house on the Russian River, since it was hot enough to get in the water. The evening hours are our favorite time, since by that time most of the beer drinkin', canoe paddlin', water splashin' types have gone home and the river reverts to the ownership of the local folks, the fish and the fowl.
P swims all the time, so she is first in the water. C and I follow a bit more slowly. The water level is down this year, already at August levels due to low rainfall and water management policies. There is a small channel deep enough for floating and swimming that persists at our swimming spot. We slip in and and float down river to the point, then turn and pull against the weak current to our entry point. The warm air moves cooly against our skin as we scrabble over the gravel to our warm towels on the bank.
After a tasty potluck dinner in P's yard watching the light change on the face of the river, we move inside for fruit and ice cream, tea and a look at what the near future might bring. It is in these small rituals that our long friendship is tended and nurtured.