Sunday I woke early to a rising sun, turned to my husband and proposed a morning trip in the dinghy out to the harbor jetty. “Church first,” he said, so I settled in for a few more minutes. When I opened my eyes again, the sky in the west hung low and white, the kind of ceiling that tells you there could be fog over the water. We scrambled up anyway and drove to church, were I sat through the sermon with my fingers crossed. It seemed frivolous to pray about the weather, so I simply hoped, grinning once we exited the building to find the sun had powered through. As is our tradition, we procured the requisite bagels and coffee, and, arriving at the harbor to a freshening breeze, convinced ourselves there would be time for our trip before the weather changed. My husband navigated while I balanced two cups of coffee, so facing the stern, I observed full-bodied cumulonimbus clouds mounted on top of each other in the northwest sky. From the southwest, a blanket of heather-gray inched forward, blocking what was left of the sun. Between, a thin strip of blue seemed to negotiate.
In spite of the threat, we anchored the boat and step-hopped to the tip of the jetty, where we took a seat, unwrapped our bagels from their butcher paper packages, and commenced our breakfast. In front of us, eight white sails ran before the wind in an attempt to beat the weather for an early Sunday race. Before long we heard the bleat of an air horn and far in the distance toy sails scurried across the mouth of the harbor. Campers from the barrier beach behind us chatted as they paddled around the jetty back to shore, their overloaded canoes leaning with sleeping bags and folded tents. A lone lobster boat chuffed through the water on its way to pull traps, a life-jacketed kayaker bobbing on his wake. Seabirds, ever present background music, carked and screed, peeped and called in concert with the clanking of halyards from nearby sailboats.
Often on these trips, after we swig the dregs of our coffee, we walk on the mud flats or hike on the beach, but this time, as we crumpled up our bagel wrappers, goose bumps forecast what was to come. So, we picked our way back over the granite boulders to our little boat, knowing this day would not be for gardening, blueberry picking or sailing, and sure enough before we'd tied up the boat, raindrops spattered our glasses.
It didn’t matter though.
Our visit to the harbor was long enough to give thanks for the day, the summer, the sound of the sea, and the sky.