Since mature fir, cedar, and maple trees block the sun from the east, south, and west sides of the cottage, my point of observation is from the beach. Normally, I need to notify the landlord that I’ll be coming through, which is fine, but of course, I never call too early or too late. Recently, my neighbor to the east, Elizabeth Warren, encouraged me to use her access to the shore, anytime, day or night. So, at sunrise this morning, I descended to the beach with a mug of hot coffee, Mary Oliver’s House of Light and my little Sony camera. Sometimes the old Canon 5D and backpack full of lenses is too much. At high tide, intermittent fallen trees either restrict the path, or force wading knee deep in cold salt water, so my walk was short but sunny. I found a big, dry log, read for a while, then captured the early light with my camera.
As relaxed as humanly possible, I listened to the waves, eagles, gulls, and a creature that remains unidentified. Glutinous seals surfaced here and there, gorging on salmon, in season for humans as well. From behind a fallen tree, I watched my neighbor to the north, Chuck, also my landlord, row to his moored power boat. His constant companion, Bailey the brown labradoodle, stood like a hood ornament as they motored the canal to inspect their crab pots. I’m hoping that Chuck will share one more delicious fresh crab before the season ends on Monday.
I forced myself up the stairs to my cottage and decided, before working on a client’s web design, I’d go to the post office in Port Gamble, one-half mile east. I drove the car since the tide prevented walking. Yes, I could have walked Highway 104, but its speeding traffic would have spoiled the mood.
Port Gamble, once a prosperous and bustling lumber town, sits on a bluff above the canal. Reluctant to return to my cottage-in-the-shade, as lovely as it is, I walked across the street to the General Store for coffee and a cinnamon roll to go, then sat on a picnic table in the warm sun. On the way home, I stopped at the locally grown produce kiosk. The farmer didn’t have carrots today but promised to harvest a bunch for me tomorrow.
While balancing my purchase, a melon, an apple, and a tomato, at the cottage door, an all-consuming sense of gratitude overwhelmed me. Andy and Howard jumped as if I’d been gone for hours. The clock said 12:00 noon. I had been gone for hours!
Time is insignificant when you’re living deliberately.
Life is but a dream -
Sh-boom sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da, sh-boom
Life is but a dream, it’s what you make it….
Songwriters, Hy Weiss and Raoul Cita, must have lived near here.
I think I’ll have lunch on the porch, it’s sunny there now.