Low tide created a path, a wide bar of pebble and sand. We walked across, eyeing the gulls that dropped shells from low heights. The island was almost ours alone – we saw one other couple, a lone woman, a family of deer (without its buck), and two woodpeckers. We were able to walk by all of them without scaring them off. It was a warm December day, and we knew – with a great big winter coming soon – we had to soak in every degree, every warm sound, all the hours of light.