It was a morning of frosty temps this morning as I took a longer path than usual to the coffee shop. The frigid air was fortifying and rejuvenating. Long, slow rollers gently washed ashore on the beach below the bluffs. It was necessary to stroll slowly as I am about to “go live” with the Website Remix. Thus, I needed the mental time and space to review whether there were any remaining “i” that needed dotting, any wandering “t” that remained uncrossed. There were no distractions other than one other solitary stroller with dog, who seemed as intent on solitary thoughts as I. There was only the inspiring view from on top the ever-eroding bluff. But I knew I need not be concerned. Fortunately, I was under the gaze and protection of one of Montauk’s Ancient Temple of Guardians!
GREETINGS FROM MONTAUK . . .
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On a Day of Significance. Turned toward the East-facing window, my still-heavy eyelids opened slightly at about 6am. Appearing like the inky blackness of an octopus’ discharge, dark clouds were on the horizon. My first thought: were they waxing or waning?
But I was still asleep. Still dreaming.
There had been a dark and stormy night which had lasted 7 of the last 11 years. Yet this bank of darkness had an edge -- could hope be making a comeback?
Below the clouds, bashed and battered by seas that had at first seemed so placid only to turn angry, jealous and vindictive, there was one tiny, little ship. It was struggling to continue its journey. The vicious waves seemed electrically charged with lashing tongues of salty spit. Time and again our traveler was cast against rocky shoals; overturned in high waves; the lone sailor’s survival oft in doubt.
Suddenly, at what seemed like the darkest hours of a darker year, with his small craft taking on more water than he could bail out, the sailor spotted a magnificent tall ship way off on the far horizon. Even at that distance, he spied with his glass that the ship was accompanied by a school of mermaids. But before he could even attempt to hail them, dumbfounded he saw the flotilla change course and head his way. And before he could pull the glass from his eye, they were there. With magical motion, the mermaids lifted the little boat as one group of the sailors fitted it with a beautiful, new and powerful sail even as another set repaired the damaged rudder. Then the lead mermaid let out a dazzling blast from a trumpet and, immediately, brilliant rays began to blow sparkling shafts of light through the foreboding giant of dark clouds. At last, as if from nowhere, a beautiful wind came to chase the still snarling storm away. It was licking its wounds, shamed for colluding with sharks and pirates to harm the sailor whose goal had been simply to cross from one coast to the other. At once the seas calmed, the skies turned clear blue with crystal-like clarity and the sun shown magnificently.
I rubbed my eyes and slowly lifted my head. The dream seemed so mythical. But of course myths are metaphoric; story lessons for us all; User Manuals for how to chart and navigate our own personal oceans. In that spirit, follow the words of the Prophet Arthur Ashe: Start where you are; use what you have; do what you can. Stay the course. Adapt, improvise and overcome. The forces of your own good will arrive. They will lift you up and place you on a peaceful shore where you must give thanks to all of those passing strangers who lent you a helping hand. And, now that you are on dry land, perhaps you’ll be better prepared for dealing with the large cyclops holding a raised club who is headed your way.
On the Beach - the wind-whipped temps are quite, shall we say, "bracing", but that is quite alright as I have one of the most beautiful beaches in the world entirely to myself at a profoundly stunning end of day. And the ends of days are getting longer and longer. #Montauk
Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious memory by these scenes of now, now, now and now transformed into then, then, then, and then again.
I always knew that some of the most beautiful lightscapes occur at dawn. Being not exactly a "morning person", however, I could never quite get myself out the door in time. Until that is Major Mackie MacGregor Kallaher came into my life this past January. After my Mom's death, there was no way I could leave her Westie, and my forever buddy, behind and so he moved from Memphis to Milford. Shortly afterwards it became clear that keeping peace in the house required creation of The Dawn Patrol. Naturally, this coincided with, weather-wise, one of the two worst winters I can remember. The silver lining, however, was that we were treated to some absolutely amazing displays of nature. And so it came to be that I enlisted the local beach's "Life Support" outpost to serve as the anchor in documenting the spectacular shifts in light and mood from day to day.
Now that the temperatures are at least above freezing on a regular basis, it's a good time to look back and appreciate what we were seeing.
100513 -- the crowds, the renters, the fashionistas, the lemmings -- they're all gone (at least until Columbus Day weekend). It's a great time to be at the beach.
Late September, early October -- there are usually no better times or conditions to experience the perfect magic hour. And the Connecticut coastline is an outstanding vantage point to enjoy it.
091913 - One couldn't ask for a more perfect night.