I have a soft spot in my heart for those who ply the waters to put food on our table. They make a living doing what generations before them have done. Their boats that ply these waters are ornaments on a tapestry of hard work, perseverance and a deep respect to a sea that both gives and takes. And the sea does take.
Living life Down East is one long journey, if you think about it. The path can lead you most anywhere, physically and spiritually. There is boundless beauty everywhere. All you have to do is take the time to see it and realize what seems special and unusual to the visitor is home for us.
“O! the joy.” — Who hasn’t seen the ocean for the first time and not had a similar sentiment swell from within? Not many of us. Our feelings are personal yet remain a shared experience because of our primordial connection to water. The comforting salve the ocean provides to us in sight and sound causes emotions to bloom —be it a smile or a tear— revealing our joy and wonder when in company with the ocean.
The storm was fierce. She tries to hold fast to the pilings that moored her all these years, but her brittle bones snap from that last bite of a January storm. Her scream was horrific, though no one heard it. In that moment, wind howling, surf pounding unforgiving...
You hear them before you see them — usually early morning, well before the time you want to get up. One calls, another answers and just like that it’s a conversation in prime numbers with more voices joining by the minute. Crows, ravens and other avian delights are something I never pondered until I arrived Downeast.
I look at my hands, wretched, blistered, black from soot and oozing oil. I lift the glass, light the wick, mumble in my dreary sleep, “Let there be light,” and there is light. There will always be light.
Because when life throws the good, the bad and the sometimes questionable things at us, it will be the people in our lives that make it all so very interesting and undeniably rich every single day.
When I look to islands today, I see yesterday — island and islanders — looking right back at me. I see pointy spires of trees catch and hold fog as it annoys, gulls floating on bands of unseen air, rocks pummeled by surf, the spray wetting my view.
Whether they are alone or in large groups, it is a foregone conclusion when in the company of wind, sea and land that there will be seagulls.
Life is a clock, and hope is that internal mechanism within life we must wind every day.