I'm Working On A Dream, Mixed Media, Suzanne Lewis © 2010

You can see more of my work on my website at http://www.suzannelewis.com All images © Suzanne Lewis 2011

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Day Three & Four in Euphoria

From the top bunk the ocean doesn't look real.  It resembles a strip of navy blue construction paper pasted under a map blue sky.  I can see why ancient peoples thought the world was flat.  I could remain in this catbird seat for many more hours but my protestant work ethic creeps into the guilt range.   I feel all sixty years as I scooch down the rungs of the ladder on my butt.  It takes a while to settle in and get on "dune time."  My body seems "a little punk" and I realize I'm still detoxing from life on the grid.  Someone has tacked a note up in the galley that reads, "Take me home.  I am too isolated and can't deal."

All I want to do is stare out the window.  I make a pour-over and cogitate-- one of my father's favorite words. 
and thumb through the Euphoria Journal from the past year.  Just about everyone says they'd pay to come back.  

It's breezy.  My weather radio promises a cold front tomorrow.  As long as I see fishing boats I know we're not going to blow over the edge.  Those guys are out there day and night-- the only nightlights I need. What a demanding way of life.  After breakfast I sit on the deck and take a sunbath.  In the warmer months one can use the solar camp shower by filling it with water early and letting it warm in the sun all day.  It's amazing how hot it will get.  My friend Peter has a more elaborate shower facility.  He connects a hose to a water barrel and snakes it down the hill for several yards where upon it heats up through the day and produces a nice hot indoor shower. But, today it's a little too brisk for an outdoor shower so I will have to make do with an indoor shampoo and sponge bath.

Walking is usually good for my funks so I set off towards the ocean.  Each step is a foot massage in the warm, soft sand.  I pass dozens of different tracks;
snake, fox, coyote, skunk, rabbit, frog.  Porcupine? 
The dunes were certainly hopping last night.  I climb the path up to the fore dune where I'm gobsmacked by the Atlantic, a different perspective from the catbird seat.  The dune grasses wave in the breeze.
You just want to run jump in them.  They remind me of how sea grass undulates in an aquarium.  The rosa rugosa, or salt spray rose bushes are still blooming magenta flowers and are as fragrant as my great aunt's home grown roses.  Rose hips are the size of a jacks ball. I bite into one and it's sweet enough but mealy and full of seeds and vitamin C.  
 I clamber down the sandy cliff to the shore and notice a gang of gray seals swimming along-- horse heads they call them.  One has beached himself and watches me nervously.  The closer I get, the more he scoots.  Soon, he galumphs off into the water. I walk for miles without seeing a single human soul.  The waves are so clear you can see through them.  In the sand I spot a teensy weensy starfish, the size of my pinky fingernail.  It's attached to a small piece of driftwood. I know my friend Jennie will appreciate it as we spent a week out here in 2010 right after her mother died and we found dozens of baby starfish washed up along the tide in the sea grass.  There aren't many shells on Race Point beach. 
Mostly eye-catching rocks.
 I find a baby sand dollar and am anxious to compare it to the Pacific sand dollars I have at home.  Pacific on left. The flower looks different. 

My mom loved the ocean, but she never made it to Race Point.  It's been six months since she passed away and I'm finally beginning to really miss her. The toll of care giving. Her death from dementia was such a "terrible relief" that it's taken this long to actually remember and miss the old mom, the one before the Alzheimer's stole her sweet, loving self. I find an old letter "M" (for Mom or Mary?) washed up on the beach and hope she's thinking about me, too.  

I get a text from my dune friends, Peter and Marianne, inviting me over to their shack, The Grail, for dinner tonight. I met them my first year and we've stayed in touch over the years.  They live in Boston in the winter, but stay out here through the summer and have being doing so for many years.  Both are RISD graduates, very talented artists and introduced me to the fascinating history of the shacks.   I decide to make Curry Vegetable Soup and carry it over in a Ziplock.

The Grail is about a twenty minute walk through the dunes.
When I arrive I find my hosts are packing up for the season. 
Everything gets mouse proofed or removed from those little white-footed scavengers and windows are boarded up.  It always surprises me how much weather these shacks can endure and how much sand just about buries them during the stormy winter.  We pour wine and talk shack politics, aging and catch up with one another as we devour our soup and roasted chicken. Marianne breaks out the vodka and potato chips for dessert and three hours zoom past.  Peter kindly drives me back in his Jeep.  There are more stars than sky.  My little battery operated lantern serves as a beacon inside Euphoria.  Highland Light lighthouse sweeps over the dunes from the opposite direction.  All is well in the Province Lands. 


Joanna said...

Beautiful prose and photography!

Unknown said...

You are truly a gifted writer!

Unknown said...

You are truly a gifted writer!

Unknown said...

You are truly a gifted writer!