Thursday, August 12, 2010


It's been a tricky adjustment back to life in the States after a whole month in the UK. I've been grumpy for a week. I can admit this, but don't even think about nodding in agreement.  Any of you boys, that is.  Anyway, I'm getting better.  It was a holiday after all. It had to end. And it will always be there.
Indulge me a little. Let me wallow in the smell of rotting seaweed, brought in by the ground sea of that stormy spring tide.  It's not to everyone's taste.  The sway of the boat as the rainbow feathers bring in a black, green, glistening mackerel from the dark sea.  Not like it was decades ago, of course, when they were hauled in by the dozen. And never a storm in July back then. That's what I'm told.  In those days, (forty years ago was it?) the boats spent months tied to the moorings and came in only to have seaweed scraped from their hulls like fat sheep ready for shearing.  Who can blame me for a little nostalgia when the past is something everyone there refers to, relishes in, even outsmarts one another over.  The way it was, the way it's always been.  The lie of the rocks, the lie of the land. And so I watch Max catch his first mackerel, his first rock-cod and I try to capture it with a photo, but really I'm hoping it is the smell he falls for, the sway of the boat, the scales on his hands, the sea salt starching his hat; not just a first memory but a whole topography to tread through.
What else? Buckets, spades, a treasured cowrie, lollipops on the beach, crickets on the green, grasshoppers and caterpillars to observe, paths through the maize, the potato harvest in full swing, crabs at low tide, boats in the river, feet in the ford, wet shoes again...

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