I stumbled upon Once More to the Lake by E.B. White today. It chronicles his pilgrimage back to a lakefront resort he visited as a child. When I think of E.B. White, I can’t help but recall fond memories from Charlotte’s Webb. There is nothing wrong with this. It is an amazing book (one of my favorites), but the author completed many works. I actually have read Elements of Style, or at least refer to it, more often. I didn’t know he wrote it.
And I read about White’s trek to the lake three times. It stuck with me. The prose is solid. There are many interpretations of the meaning of the essay. I won’t spoil these for you. It’s important to read for yourself. Still, I couldn’t help but think about my own childhood memories. Experiences matter. Memories do indeed last forever. No matter how far gone, they rush back to you.
“The small waves were the same, chucking the rowboat under the chin as we fished at anchor, and the boat was the same boat, the same color green and the ribs broken in the same places, and under the floor boards the same freshwater leavings and debris–the dead helgramite, the wisps of moss, the rusty discarded fishhook, the dried blood from yesterday’s catch. We stared silently at the tips of our rods, at the dragonflies that came and wells.”
Hard to fathom how someone writes like this. Thoughtful. And humbling.
- Oh, he’s so much more than Charlotte’s Webb.
- The picture is from the Lady Bird Lake Trail in Austin, Ten Miles. No fishing for this picture.