Late Saturday afternoon a week ago, I was walking the Cape Cod National Seashore. In the company of four members of my family, I withstood the winds along the nearly empty beach. It was a dramatic landscape onto which we had launched ourselves for the short time. Everything about the wide sky above and before us spoke of winter coming, of cold deepening as each week passed, of darkness settling in earlier and earlier.
According to plan, early that evening two cars with those four members of the family pulled onto Route 6A. Within an hour they would be off the Cape; in another hour they would all be home. I would be sitting on the back deck of my niece's house in Eastham by then. Away from the shore there were no more winds, and a forecast rise in temperatures had already set in. The moon was big in the black sky. From the radio in my niece's kitchen I could hear a station familiar from last July, Outermost Radio in Provincetown. With summer instincts, I raised my BlackBerry camera to the sky.
Waking up alone in the Eastham house the next morning, I took my time showering, got in the car and went for breakfast at the Fairway. Afterwards I took a coffee with me and parked in the lot at Nauset Light. I rolled down the windows, sent out a couple of text messages, and wondered at the ease of it all.
What winter ever had the final word?