Sea Fever

I haven’t been myself lately.

Yes, there is a lot going on in my life these days.

But it’s more than that.

My mind a little foggy. My heart a little heavy. My spirit a little weary.

My compass has felt a bit off…

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When our April break arrived, I decided to get away. To visit my sister in Rhode Island. Thinking that perhaps being in a different place would change my perspective.

It was there that I discovered what was wrong with me.

Sea Fever.

I had a case of Sea Fever.

Yes there really is such a thing…

John Masefield once wrote a poem entitled Sea Fever.

There is a memorial to those fisherman lost at sea in Point Judith with this poem inscribed.

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And there is only one cure for it.

Rhode Island is a tiny state. But its coastline goes on forever.

Time with the sea.

Waves crashing. The sound a sweet roar in my ears.

It whispered into my heart. Reminding me…

Life is like the sea.

Tumultuous and turbulent

Breakwaters absorbing some of the ocean’s violent impact

Periods of calm and tranquility

Points of light that protect and guide when there is uncertainty

Surprising and mysterious relics that take me back in time

And then back…to the present moment

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The fever subsiding…sated and quiet

For now.

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Stopping by Woods

“The woods are lovely dark and deep but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep…”

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How I love Robert Frost!

This poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is one of my favorites. Many times I have found myself in snowy woods thinking of the words to this poem.

And many times there has been no snow, just woods.

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The woods are tranquil and serene…so I do like to linger. But too often I need to hurry back, before dark, to take care of my promises.

There are times though…when lingering is allowed. When there is nothing pressing…no rush to get back…and I can be entranced by the woods. When I can explore and look more closely at the trees around me and be amazed…

Soon enough the woods will fill up with snow. And I will stop.

November Beauty

November is one of those months. The once colorful leaves now brown and crisp, the skies more gray than blue, brisk and foreboding northern winds, less sunlight…more darkness

A barren time of year.

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Bleak.

A word that often describes the month of November.

Even poets write wistfully about November…

Yea, I have looked, and seen November there;
The changeless seal of change it seemed to be,
Fair death of things that, living once, were fair;
Bright sign of loneliness too great for me,
Strange image of the dread eternity,
In whose void patience how can these have part,
These outstretched feverish hands, this restless heart?

– William Morris

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Here in Vermont, it is a month to endure. A month of preparation, battening down the hatches so to speak. The weather unpredictable, the cold and damp giving us a taste of things to come…

Yet…somehow our spirit perseveres. Perhaps it is the thought of upcoming celebrations. Or the excitement of knowing the first snow is coming. Or cherishing those gifts of infrequent sunny days, and remembering there is so much to be thankful for.

 We turn inward as the world outside hunkers down for winter. It is a time for reflection and hibernation…

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I am determined to find and experience the un-bleakness of November…or to celebrate the beauty of bleakness. Because if you look hard enough…and close enough, it’s there.

Under my feet…

In the meadows…

On frosty mornings…

In the woods…

Above me…

That invincible summer that Albert Camus speaks of is within us all. Our human spirit that allows us, in the midst of bleakness, to find November beauty.

Robert Frost

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Like Robert Frost…I like to take the road less traveled. You never know what you might find along the way.

Just a few roads I’ve traveled so far…

Of course all these roads and paths are simply metaphors for life. They are the choices that we make and the direction we decide to go. At different stages in our lives we are faced with new paths and new directions. I am in a new stage.  My only son leaves for college in the fall. A new road for me…and like all the roads I’ve traveled so far, it will be a journey. So I begin this journey by writing and taking photographs, exploring and discovering.