A Step Back In Time

Opportunity presents itself at the most unanticipated times in our lives. The chance for a hard reset of our lives often is never presented to us or when it is we are quite understandably hesitant to act on it due to a host of fears and trepidation.

I’ve lived on Cape Cod for all of my adult life. Even as a young boy I dreamed of living a life by the seashore. Later as a young man I filled my dreams with books about the sea from Captain Cooks diaries to Joshua Slocum sailing alone around the world. Later I became immersed in the writings of John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Beston and many others.

It was during these years that I felt most connected to the natural world of coastal New England. I felt the rhythm of the tides in my blood, read the wind and clouds for weather and breathed deep the multitude of scents emanating from a summer salt marsh and wondered who was sailing that boat just on the far horizon. I felt more at peace than at perhaps any other time in my life.

But life happens, not that I would change a thing. Responsibilities come, marriage, children, growing a business. I began to take for granted what was all around me. I somehow lost my connection. And then the pandemic arrived.

I’ve now come full circle. I fill my days with time by the water. Cape Cod is quiet now. Bike rides now are nearly every day, there is no rush to be anywhere. I have no appointments, no phone calls to make. Kayaking has no time constraints and the crystal clear waters offer a mesmerizing landscape of sea grass and fish. I’m watching ospreys swoop and dive into the water with a greater appreciation than I have in years. Time spent working on a boat, getting it ready for summer no longer is a chore to finish but a time to simply enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, my mind unencumbered by things that just several months ago seemed so important.

The iconic bridges to Cape Cod and the wonderful paved biking/walking trails that line both sides of the canal that runs beneath are known and loved by generations of Cape Codders and visitors alike. But in a snapshot of our pandemic days, a beautiful Spring day found me riding the 13 mile round trip nearly alone, watching schools of fish jump and a whale watch boat return to home port.

“I became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint’s vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. And for a second you see………and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! “

-Eugene O’Neill
Tracked mileage of the latest bike ride along the Canal in May 2020

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