I can count the times we’ve been away together without work being involved on one hand. And leave a few digits untroubled by the factoring.

We’ve had amazing adventures in destinations far flung, but usually tacked on to the end of work. Even our Paris honeymoon, a year after our wedding day, was squeezed into a fleeting week between two European tours.

The last days of the summer of 2010 are on the short shortlist of actual vacations. We fled our tiny Weehawken apartment, trading the skyline of Manhattan for the Laurentian forest of Quebec.

Lac Brulee. An inky calm body, crowded and overhung on all sides by shading pines. Late August days still hot, but evenings already foretelling the chill of Autumn. Each day a painter’s dream of the golden hour. The dock bobbing just enough to tinkle the ice in our gin and tonics. The sun warming her soft bare skin enough to fight off the quickly chilling air.

I know the time is coming. When we’ll have to leave. To get up off this dock. To go inside and rustle through the bags from the market and make dinner. But not yet. She is happy. She is still warm. She is relishing me being happy. She doesn’t know I’m primed to move. Perhaps neither do I.

Seasons on the cusp of change. The simple torpor of summer’s high noon giving way to autumn’s rich reflection. Seeds planted long ago taking the last of the sun’s energy and bursting through, finally to flower. Crepuscule with Zoe.

A week later I would announce that I wanted to leave for good. Two months later we would own a little house in Nova Scotia. And we’ve never looked back.