Lean back til you feel like you’ll tip. Take in the sky. Wasn’t it a steely grey just a minute ago, and now, now, blue like the eggs already in the nest, cluttered with clouds that have broken apart. Soon the marsh grass will erupt. An emerald carpet reaching up, breaking through the brackish phragmites, pounded flat in the last storm, but for now, a wash of pale shades.
This is how it happens, falling in love with a place. Mostly gradual, with short bursts of free-fall. Occasional disappointments (ticks) and endless discovery. Round an unexplored bend, then next time, go farther. Spend a year, then two or four. Become accustomed to the rhythms. In the last ten days, the peepers have begun their songs. Their sounds pulse from one pond, but not another, the pace of their peeps a reflection of the temperature.
We head here. Leaving the trails of the Audubon lands behind, the trees still skeletal. We seek flotsam. Mostly find plastic.
But one washed up length of sea-worn two-by-six serves as a bridge to traverse the channels men once gashed into the wetlands, lines amid the sweeping curves. The salt hay is a sponge beneath the feet.
The osprey are back, and no matter how many platforms are erected, they are occupied. One bird sits on a nest not far off, then takes flight, traveling low along the open marsh. Then there’s a second one, a third, a fourth! Black and white, against grey and blue. This is how it happens. Into the grove…
Everywhere there is death. Everywhere there is life. Each a reflection on the other.
Each of us in the middle, gazing and gazed upon. This, today, from the Twittersphere: 107-year-old Sardinian Raffaela Arcana’s secret to longevity: “I know I am loved, but I’m also expected to love.” I suspect she wasn’t just speaking of human love. I suspect — i hope — that she also meant the love that extended to her place, Raffaela’s isle of sea-and-sky Sardinia.