Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Details

Life is in the details. The mourning dove perched on the weathered roof of an old fishing shanty. The dragonfly on the bell of a nearby cape cottage. The blue green reflection of a trusted dory as it waits at it's post. The sweet smell of a freshly mowed field.
It is also in the details of people passing by and in the sounds that fill the air . The grandmother teaching her grandson to see the reflections in the still morning harbor. The gentle ding of a sailboat mast as it sways on it's mooring.
This is "Why I wake early "

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oh the stories you could tell if only you could whisper to me. You sit so quietly on a sunny lot, wild grasses blowing. No sign of a mower here for many years. The dragon fly that sits on the door bell has been here for hours; is he watching over the house? I'm sure he too has tales to tell.
This is what the Cape looked like in the 1800's. Sweet little shingled houses dotted the roadside. These were the simple houses of hardy Cape settlers who lived by farming and fishing. I wonder who were the first people to live at 1066 Queen Anne Road in Chatham? Who lived there between now and than? I am told by my neighbor that the people who own this house come now and then to work on it. They come in a trailer and hook up to the electricity in the house. I peeked in the windows; there is much to be done but it looks like they have done some significant gutting. I am grateful they didn't tear this gem down. Two years ago one of the oldest houses in Chatham was torn down just down the road. I kept meaning to photograph it. One day I went by and it was gone. Just like that. The house they built in it's place is unspeakably ugly. I know, in many cases, it costs more to renovate than to tear down but how is it possible that one of the oldest houses in a town like Chatham can be destroyed just like that? All that history bulldozed in a matter of hours.
The wind blows through the trees as I sit admiring this special house. Thank you sweet house. I am happy I met you.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blessing of the Fleet

On May 22nd we attended our first "Blessing of the Fleet" in Chatham, MA. The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf weighed heavy on everyones hearts that day and who would ever imagine that thousands of barrels of oil would still be gushing into the Gulf everyday. I imagine people who live and die by the sea have a profound connection with with each other in spirit and in heart. I felt the love and concern that day. In the ten "Prayers of the People" two were specific to the oil spill.
"We pray to the fishing communities in The Gulf of Mexico and the fisherman who have lost their livelihoods because of the oil spill. Give them the strength and courage needed to survive in the coming years." Another prayer read "We pray that the oil pouring from the oceans floor will be quickly contained. Protect the fish and mammals that live in the Gulf waters. Look after the wetlands, the wildlife and the beaches."
Sadly the oil pouring from the ocean floor has not been quickly contained. It is close to two months and it has not been contained at all. Someone suggested they plug it with the greedy BP folks who sanctioned stepped up production in favor of the advised slow, steady and safe. They are lucky no one jumped on that bandwagon. It is easy to lay blame and yet I know there are no easy answers or quick fixes. What I do know is we are all blessed to have the sea, its bounty, its beauty and the fishermen and women who bless us with their daily catch. Here are a few last words from that amazing morning.
Excerpt from "Thanksgiving for Fishing Families"
Almighty God, we give thanks for all those who work at sea. We acknowledge our need for the food they provide. We recognize that they are sometimes in danger and their long absences often involve sacrifices in their family life. Help us show gratitude not only in our words, but also in our actions. Amen
God, we ask your blessing on all who care for fishermen and women. Strengthen them when the hours are long. Uphold them when the work is hard. Amen

Good thoughts from The Orion Society magazine

" To care is neither conservative or radical " writes John Ralston Saul. " It is a form of consciousness. " To be in service of something beyond ourselves, to be in the presence of something other than ourselves, together. This is where we can begin to craft a meaningful life where personal isolation and despair disappear through that shared engagement of a vibrant citizenry.