Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1: Calm Seas

I walked on the Rockland breakwater after work this afternoon with my friend Brian and his dog. It was truly the calm after the storm. Big wads of seaweed were strewn across the top of the breakwater, tossed there by recent high tides. Something big had clearly happened out there. But today the wide sky opened clear and blue above us, the sea calmly lapped the shore, the tide had pulled back to an unthreatening distance, and even the birds seemed mellow--except one insistent cardinal whose repetitive whistle sounded like a siren. We saw several loons pausing on their journey back to inland waters, some mergansers, eiders, and a small group of lingering long-tailed ducks carrying on a late afternoon chat. They seemed in no hurry to be heading northward. The air was mild, no breeze at all. Two biplanes flew over like we were in some weird nostalgic old movie. Looking back at the granite jetty as we were leaving, the long line of massive cut stones shone golden in the late light, stretching out like a delicate bridge to the lighthouse at the end.

Hold this memory:
loon's red eye gazing back, calm.
Blue skies, blue water.

Photo by Brian Willson

Simplistic, perhaps, but sometimes it's the most basic and ephemeral of images that stick with us the longest, something spotted along the road as we drove past at 50 MPH, a single bird glimpsed in a bush, the way the light shone for just one moment on a particular rock or tree.

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