Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

February 18, 2016

SURF'S UP

... we were supposed to head up into the mountains, but instead decided to wander down along the coast to see if the low pressure over the gulf of maine had produced surf action along the shore ... driving into the parking lot at pemaquid lighthouse we were immediately astonished to witness mountainous waves breaking over the shoals about a mile from the point ...

... rather intrepidly, john scrambled out to the very edge of the wave-free rocks so that he could shoot a little movie of the action ...

... meanwhile, in a less intimidating spot, a young mother was involved in the process of showing her little child how to be brave ... i was impressed she understood that many adults who display courage had lessons such as these when they were young ...

... while john remained mesmerized by the sight and sound of the surf, i slowly clambered my way across the wet rocks to the east of the light house ... instead of "waldo" this is a "where's john" image ...

... as always happens at pemaquid point, my sense of time began to slow ... tiny lichens, of the oldest and most successful of all the living things on this planet, happily welcomed me to their home ...

... cast by the waves to the front lawn of a rich-person summer home, she seemed taking a moment in the warmth of the sun to relax and admire her home from an unusual vantage ...

... not being a merman, i kept reminding myself of the danger posed in this rocky place that from moment to moment was neither sea nor shore ... "never turn your back on the sea," a mantra learned long ago, as well as remembering that on this day there were two completely different sets of waves, and that a lull in one didn't mean the other wasn't waiting to pounce upon me ... 

... the remains of an iron stanchion or post, the rocks will little notice its passing ...

... always, since the very first time as a small child when i studied the birds soaring along the reef off my gram's beach in grand cayman, i've wondered what a joy it would be to surf in the air above these great avalanches of foaming sea ...

... teasing the sea, frolicing with my toes dipped in salty froth ...

... i sat for a spell, enjoying the most special winter warmth that can be found only at pemaquid ...

... despite the dangers they mark, it is not seeing a lighthouse that worries mariners, thus the reason as to why these structures are found to be so comforting ... they reassure us, "search the dark for my beacon, listen beneath the shrouding fog for my song ... find me and you will no longer be lost, with me you will find your way" ...

... dark layers, each inch many hundreds of years of primeval sea bottom mud that was pushed miles and miles down into the mantle of the earth, heated under pressure until it was transformed to rock, then slowly brought back to the surface ... lighter layers, where under great pressure the metamorphosed sea bottom cracked, allowing a different kind of molten rock to spread between its layers and through tiny cracks and fissures ... here, from the lighthouse to my feet, a hundred million years of geologic history ...

... this particular rock, as a liquid it cooled very, very slowly, which means it took a long, long time to rise to the surface from where it was formed twenty—fifty miles deep below the earth's crust ... how, you ask, can this be known ... by the size of the crystal ... 

... again, in the span of my hand, many thousands of years of geologic history ... pemaquid is not a place for creationists or bishop usher's minions to loudly proclaim ... rather, here one should sit and ponder, "why should it be any less to marvel in the thought that there's a g*d who instead of in a few days took 8,000,000,000 years to perfect a creation" ... i have visited some of the world's greatest cathedrals and churches, at their best none is but an inspired attempt to mimic what pemaquid is ... 

... in the unseasonal warmth, flowing in february, nature's original super-glue ...

... now we have radar and g.p.s., but once there was a time when someone would be tasked with ringing this bell from dusk to dawn ...

... as we left the point, i couldn't help but watch for a moment more the great offshore breakers ... further out, on the horizon to the right of the picture, what appears as a tiny island, or perhaps an iceberg, is another set of waves ...

... inland a few miles, so calm, a different world ...

... watching, hearing, feeling the sea, i was famished ... the "A1" diner in gardiner, i can think of no more perfect place to complete a great wanderabout ...

... please, take a little wanderabout of your own to pemaquid ... for a long, long time, very patiently, it's been waiting for you ...