a parched tongue and dehydrated soul

Growing up in a New England fishing village, one can not escape a connection to the sea. The putrid stench of rotting fish and bait rising up from the waterfront in even the mildest heat mixes with the incessant screaming squawks of winged rats to somehow create a sense of home for me.
The shore becomes a place to walk when in search of comfort or peace as well as a place to celebrate and share. Many a night spent sitting quietly on a rocky promontory, watching the pounding surf, tasting the salt on the wind, lost to reflection.
Even now, in travel, so far from the oceanfront haunts of my youth, I feel the tidal sway and ocean’s pull. Crossing the Mississippi in winter for the first time, I felt compelled to run down the snowy bank of mud and ice, to strip off heavy boots and woolen socks, to dip one scared and trembling frigid little toe in an exposed and quickly moving current. Just to connect with some body of water greater than my own.
I’ve since crossed that mighty waterway many a time since, and at no time has the pull lessened. I’ve kayaked the rivers of north central Florida, stood in frigid Colorado snow melt, jumped and missed shores of Montana fly fishing meccas, floated serenely across mountain top ponds, frozen toes in glacier lakes, bathed in the early March ice water of the Green in Utah, rolled up pant legs in the Cabot Strait squinting my eyes in search for a Newfoundland, stepped on a great winged ray off the keys, and felt the snow fall on my face neck deep in a boiling river.
Always, wherever I go, I must find that body of water greater than my own. Find some fluid connection to the sea back home. The many trials, trails, and tributaries always leading out, around and back. Flowing forever downhill, but always towards home. Pounding on shores and stones that held my feet so many years ago. The same sand the toes of my mother, my father dug into many a night. The same sand I hope to build castles in someday with my own.
Always moving, running, but always, eventually, back into the stream in a circuitous route home.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s