The laughter of families in the still air of a hot day mingles like sounds you hear in a dream. Saskatchewan summer smells like fries and onion rings and everything good. It tastes like frosty strawberry milkshakes and drippy chocolate-dipped soft ice cream cones. It is cool, salty waves lapping at your feet and a sun-warmed beach blanket against your back.
In school, we colour summer green and blue. When we are let out for the summer, we learn that it's all the boldest, brightest hues in the biggest box of pencil crayons. If it's a good summer, we wear those colours down to the tiniest nubs, so that we can start with a fresh box next year.
When they used to arrive by special excursion train from all across the prairies, they took to Little Manitou Lake in small wooden boats. Today they drive by car and play on inflatable dinghies and personal watercraft. Times change, but summertime at Manitou Beach is timeless.
The sounds of laughter, hands slapping water and toes churning waves carry a long way across Little Manitou Lake. Floating so high and buoyant makes you giggle.
Wellington and Ollie White had to have known the were onto something, when they made their way from Moose Jaw to the shores of Little Manitou Lake in the 1920s. The little resort town was booming, the most popular destination on the prairies. They tore down the old Danceland that had been here before Manitou Beach incorporated in 1919, and built a grand, new dance hall, with horsehair-cushioned maple hardwood flooring. When they flung open the doors for the first time in 1928, it must have been quite the night. Danceland hasn’t stood still since.
Gulls and dragonflies enjoy the warmth on the first day of fall, as the sun dips toward the waters of Little Manitou Lake, Saskatchewan. Perhaps the music of the previous Saturday night still carries them as it lingers across the waves and drifts into the air.