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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


After yesterday's downpours and the warm temperatures melting almost all the snow, rivers are flourishing in all kinds of places. Thin sheets of water course down Crockett Beach Road, in regular little waves (how and why does water do that on tar?). The ditches on the sides of the paved lanes are torrents. The dirt and gravel driveways are so soft, it feels like there's a slow river underneath your every step. The land below the leaching field is a moving bog. The steps on our walkway become little Niagaras.

I love the ocean, especially on days like today after a big storm, when the surf crashes all night, and the waves around Little Island beat constantly white, and power and glory have no human component. But clear rushing water is compelling in its innocence and regeneration. I think of summers my family spent in northern Michigan, in a cabin on the banks of a trout stream, and how the river in its purity saved me from the horrors of adolescence. Even looking at rivulets in the ditch makes me think of the push of water against waders, the susurration of current, shallow spawning beds of shining gravel, cold delicious water in a cupped hand. Eventually the rivers of the world rush into oceans, replenishing ancient dark seas, mixing with salt and kelp, fish and lobsters, monsters and myths, immensity and infinity, and isn't that a fine way to grow up.

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