Why do I crave and seek this quiet time by the waterside?
Why do I wake early and complete my chores in silence?
Walking the dog and gather my inks and pads,
closing the front door in slow motion,
just to feel the remnants of the summer sun
on my cheek and brow?
Why do I plan this time alone, to smell the sea breeze,
filled with the musk of fish and the green/brown muck,
that lines the rock walls and marks the highest tide?
Why do I set up my coffee and pens and pads,
on a picnic table, a yard or two from the waters edge,
to watch the swan land on water,
with the awkward protest of her wings,
pushing forward to slow her fall?
Or to hear the sounds of the Sound’s waves lapping,
the soft undecipherable conversations
of the stroller on the harbor’s paths
and the muffled footsteps
of those on their way to fish the pier.
as a lone goose honks, repeatedly
in the distance across water
a sound so different than one hears across land.
Do I come here to sit in reverence, and gaze at the elegant sailboats,
as they slide by in the hazy sunshine, against a backdrop of trees still green
sandwiched between the grey/black/green of the water and the faint blue of the sky.
And if inside a court of law,
I was asked by a black robed judge to explain these stolen moments,
I would have to say that all of the words above are true.
But only part truth.
I com here as much to be here as I do to get away.
Away from the cycle of eat, work, sleep,
moving from crises to crises
heart pumping adrenaline as much as blood
the constant contact with people
even the play involves fierce competition.
These stolen moments
With the occasional buzzing of a motorboat passing by
and the unique sound of fishing line being whipped out across the surface of the water
are moments I have decided to steal.
And as I watch the impossibly thin neck of a white crane
move as it stalks its prey beneath the water
and the two swans glide together as lovers often do
I know these moments are so precious
And in my life so ephemeral
That they demand the stealthy preparation
For the few hours of time stolen away to the water’s edge.
Time that I can sit alone, take a breath, relax
and let my true thoughts slowly drift to the surface.