This Day

It’s the January thaw.  Yesterday’s heavy rains cleared the snow and ice from the sidewalks, giving me permission to run without thinking about slipping or falling.  Today’s 5 1/2 miles melt inside and around me as I breathe in the warmer air of this morning.  I run along Pebble Beach.   The sandy part of the road is soft and giving under foot; pale green back-lit waves sparkle and crash on the popple-lined shore.  The smell— oh!— newly washed up seaweed, fresh-caught fish,  salt laden, earthy.  Memories of  the scents  from my childhood on Martha’s Vineyard brush their fingers lightly through the corners of my mind, evasive and evocative.   A hunger, a desire, a wanting exactly what I have and knowing I have it right now fills me from my damp sneakers to the roots of my hair, and grasps hold of the very center of me.  The waves surge and my feet pound out their rhythm.  My shoulders relax and I lift my face to the sky.   I feel winter’s grip release it’s hold.

As I round the bend on Penzance Road where two marshes are separated by a narrow strip of pavement, I see the remains of last summer’s tall marsh grasses, mowed down, blown down by the whipping winds of the past months. A few brown stalks remain and are topped with rich, full, dark seed pods reaching up to the brightening sky.  No red-winged blackbirds flit about, or pivot and balance atop the stalks, but the light wind rustles and ruffles the edge of the small pond tucked back on the right side of the marsh.  I choose to continue on Eden Road, where the previous week’s ice had been replaced by oodles of puddles.  I sprint along, dodging back and forth, stepping in a tiny pool here and there, bouncing on the balls of my feet, then leaping, bounding like a golden Lab puppy on the pocked, dirt-packed road.

I sprint again up the hill at the top of Eden, and turn right onto South Street.  I meet Richard, my friend Sue’s husband.  He is on the tail end of his morning walk, and he grins and waves to me.  I stop and we chat for a few minutes, sharing our pleasure in this morning.  The last leg of my route passes Old Garden Beach, and I peek down the boat  ramp, noticing the sand that had washed up on the incline over the winter, and the newly exposed rocks on the beach.   The ocean is calmer on this side of the island, and I look across the little park beside the ramp.  The sky and air are clear, and I can see across the water all the way to Andrew’s Point.

This day is a tease.  There will be more cold, ice, snow, gray winter.

This day is a reminder.  There will be warmth, sun, birds, green spring.

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3 Comments on “This Day”

  1. Pat Earle Says:

    Just a beautiful and well done picture..Thanks for taking us along…

  2. Lynne Says:

    you write beautifully..I esp love the last 2 lines. I share your love of the North Shore and the Vineyard. I live inland now but your words bring the oceanside in the off season back like I were there.

  3. Alex Reed Says:

    I really liked this one! Its going to be 40 degrees out tomorrow from what i hear so enjoy it while you can 🙂


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