Sunday Morning

In the silence the soothing sights and sounds of the marsh, the waving grasses flecked with butterflies, the distant soughing of the sea, the trailing ribbons of birdsong and the calls of the geese and gulls, could come into focus. ‘It’s good to sit and watch this gentle world,’ L said. ‘We tire ourselves out so.’

— Rachel Cusk, Second Place: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 4, 2021)


DK Photo @ Daybreak. 4:52 to 5:34 am, May 3, 2021. 39° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Walking. 365 days. Like in a row.

Good morning.

I looked back at my blog post on May 5, 2020. Clear skies. 42° F … “Nippy for May” is how I described it.  Didn’t know at the time that I’d be on this sustained journey.  This 365 consecutive day morning walk to Cove Island Park at daybreak. 365 days, like in a row.

I was surprised to see that a year ago, I was monitoring the nesting of yet another Canada Goose. And this year, I’m at it again. Same one? Who knows?  On the drive to the park this morning (and every morning since gestation started), I’m unsettled, uneasy — until I pull up, and verify that everything is as it should be. Life is as it should be. In order. No cruelty. No tragedies. Tracking to nature’s time. Hesse: But I need to feel beautiful and holy things around me, always…I need it, and I refuse to give it up…That’s my fatal flaw.

Mother Goose was curled up in her nest. Her mate, was strolling up and down the pier a few yards away.  Beth described me as their Midwife, and that sounds about right.

And despite Daniel’s prognostication that Mother Goose may bless me with the birth of a little one on my Anniversary, it didn’t happen. Not today.  Not yet anyway. I can wait.

And Him (or Her, more likely) way way upstairs, didn’t bless me with a glorious sunrise to honor my Anniversary.  No multi color light show in the sky. No wow shots.  But to be fair, He’s given me far, far more days of majesty than days of overcast, by a wide margin.

The rain, this morning, a super fine mist — somewhere in size between dust motes and very light rain. And it continued for my entire walk. A cool, light, fresh touch.

No one ventured out in the rain this morning. In a city of 130,000, I was alone. My Park. My Time.

It was high tide and water was gushing into the Cove.

The flags flying high above the Cove Island Snack shop (badly in need of paint) rustled gently in the breeze.

Waterfowl were awakening, cormorants were fishing.

A light fog hangs over the water.

And a lightness hangs over me as I’m driving home thinking that it’s time for a morning Break. A sabbatical of sorts.  Sleep in for a day or two, and then consider my next steps.

And then what? Replace it with what?

With what that could possibly be better? 


DK @ Daybreak. 5:08 am, May 5, 2021. 50° F. Light misty rain. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Walking. You Would Never Break the Chain.

Morning Walk. 348 consecutive days. Like in a row. 

This morning, 6:00 a.m. Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, CT.

I’m at the end of the Pier.

I wait. Sunrise @ 6:11 a.m.

And wouldn’t you know it, my playlist flips to The Chain, by Fleetwood Mac.

…Listen to the wind blow / Watch the sun rise…

I reach for the iPhone and press repeat.  And turn the Volume up.

And, I stand, and wait.

Because they don’t disappoint. My Canada Geese.

They’re out in the distance.

I turn the volume down, their call, barely audible over Stevie Nicks.

They turn slightly left, heading my way.

I hoist the camera up.  Steady DK, Steady. Breathe.

Here they come.  Come on Team, keep coming. Stay your course.

They’re in my viewfinder.  Bearing down straight at me. Now DK. Now!

I put camera down to watch.

Entire flock honking, wings beating.

So much sky. So much land. And they pass directly overhead. Over MY head.  Goosebumps.

I turn volume back up.

…I can still hear you saying / You would never break the chain…


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly.

“There are two different ways of looking at the world. You can walk on the path, or you can walk through the hedge. And I think that’s the beauty of art, that it just makes you step aside, off the normal way of walking or looking…”

There’s this wonderful sort of tension in the wind — that moment when you’re held there suspended is a very beautiful moment … a moment of clarity in a very chaotic situation. … It’s like a shaft of light that penetrates.

—  Andy Goldsworthy, from “Leaning Into the Wind” (1987)


Notes:

  • Andy Goldsworthy (born 26 July 1956) is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist who produces site-specific sculptures and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland.
  • Quotes via The Hammock Papers.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

More. More Birds.

In our pursuit of that elusive thing called happiness, scientists can offer few findings. One is that, contrary to popular belief, money can actually buy happiness. Another, more recent, is that so can birds… “According to our findings, the happiest Europeans are those who can experience numerous different bird species in their daily life, or who live in near-natural surroundings that are home to many species.” The social isolation necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic has pushed many people to escape into the outdoors and reconnect with nature. Research suggests that spending more time in nature and with animals can help people relax and even lessen physical and mental stress.  And the more birds, the better, according to the study, which analyzed data from the “2012 European quality of Life Survey” on life satisfaction in more than 26,000 adults from 26 European countries. A 10 percent increase in the number of bird species in peoples’ surroundings increased their life satisfaction as much as an extra 10 percent in the bank, the study found.

— Anagha Srikanth, from “New study finds birds give people as much happiness as money” (thehill.com, March 24, 2021)


Photo: DK @ Daybreak, 6:49 am. March 21, 2021, Norwalk, CT

Walking. With Toko-pa.

283 days. Consecutive. Cove Island Park morning walk.

14° F, feels like 5° F temp. What fresh hell is this? (Dorothy Parker)

I’m near the end of my loop.  Boots swish through the crusty snow. I’m making my way to Cove Island Point.

And there it was.

It pierced through my tuk…

and through the hoodie pulled over my tuk…

and somehow she pierced through the noise cancelling earbuds that were pumping Taylor Swift’s EvermoreAnd I was catching my breath / Barefoot in the wildest winter.

I snap a picture, that one above. And pause to watch.

The rustling of this single, dry leaf, clinging to the branch by its ever-so-thin stem, and shivering. How delicate. How fragile. How barefoot in the wildest winter.

The north wind gusts, she shudders, and I shudder along with her.

Toko-pa Turner: What is wild in us are the ways in which we meet something freshly and not by habit. Wild is to be full-body alive in response to the conversation life is having with us; the caress of the wind which cools your skin after the sun has penetrated it with warmth. The shadow cast by a soaring bird above. The unmediated glance, surprised by beauty.

The unmediated glance surprised by beauty.

And for that moment…full-body alive.


Notes:

i have been here before

I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound…

—  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, from “Sudden Light” in “The Complete Poetical Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Notes:

  • Photo: Dk @ Daybreak. Light Snow. 6:36 am to 7:07 am, February 9, 2021. 23° F, feels like 14° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Poem via Poetry Foundation

Three of my best friends

Having just read “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers, I was delighted to learn more about Suzanne Simard, an inspiration for Patricia Westerford, who despite derision and opposition, proved trees communicate among themselves. When I was a child growing up in Marblehead, Mass., three of my best friends were trees: two oaks and a white pine. I named them, climbed them and talked to them knowing they recognized me and enjoyed my company. Now, at 88, all my two-legged friends are gone, but my tree friends are still standing. I visited them last summer, glad to see them tall, strong and healthy.

—  Cynthia Baketel Systrom, Stuart, FL in a reader’s letter to the editor in response to Ferris Jabr’s “The Social Life of Forests in the NY Times Magazine 12/6/20 issue (New York Times Magazine, Dec 20, 2020)


Photo: DK’s 3 Sisters. Cove Island Park. 6:56 am. January 6, 2021.

Sunday Morning

In a May 1952 paper for her religion class, “Religion as I See It,” Plath laid out her “basic tenets”: man was “born without purpose in a neutral universe,” without inherent morals, and was responsible for his own destiny. There was no afterlife. “His mind may live on, as it were, in books, his flesh may continue in his children. That is all.” God was not to blame for man’s evils or triumphs. Plath claimed that she could “never find my faith through the avenue of manmade institutions,” and called herself an “agnostic humanist.” She happily admitted she was a pantheist at heart: “For my security, I resort not to the church, but to the earth. The impersonal world of sun, rocks, sea and sky gives me a strange courage.” For her, the vital world was earthly and present.

— Heather Clark, Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath (Knopf; October 27, 2020)


Notes:

  • Plath was 19 years old in May 1952.
  • Photographs: DK @ Daybreak. Jan 10, 2021. 6:43 to 7:20 am. 28° F, feels like 18° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford CT. More photos from this morning here.

Lightly Child, Lightly

The wind is careless—

uncertain—

I like the wind—

it seems more like me than anything else—

I like the way it blows things around—roughly—even meanly—

then the next minute seems to love everything—some days is amazingly quiet.

—  Georgia O’Keeffe, in a letter to Alfred Stieglitz on October 1, 1917 in: ”My Faraway One. Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. Volume 1, 1915–1933

 


Notes:

%d bloggers like this: