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Thursday, March 19, 2009


This one is an exercise for me.

It is 8:00 a.m. on a summer Sunday and we have been to our own church already, a service scheduled for golfers, but we don’t golf. Having given thanks, we’ve purchased hot coffee and fresh bagels and driven to the harbor. The silver-shingled porch on the locked sailing club doubles as an outside chapel; we tiptoe past short-sleeved worshippers gathered on wooden benches, hymn books held wide. As the gangplank descends below; “Amazing Grace” floats from behind.

In front of us, the Meggie Lou bobs in the corner, wedged between a flooded rowboat and the splintered planks of a timber dock. Brown ribbons of ocean froth skim her waterline and the plastic detergent container that serves as a baler floats in the rainwater pooled in her stern.

Beyond the boat, a still harbor mirrors a low hanging sun and bleached blue sky. Red hulled lobster boats, the Janice Marie, the Sally Anne, Prime Ribs, point together like graceful ladies into a wind we can’t feel. Seagulls cark among themselves; an engine mumbles and throbs in the distance. As Tim mops up the last of the wetness, I untie the bowline, balancing one foot into the dinghy and pushing with the other, heaving us out. The motor catches, coughs, and catches again.

It is 8:15 a.m. on a Sunday morning and we are sitting on the jetty at the mouth of the harbor gripping cardboard coffee cups in two hands. The warming sun blesses our shoulders as the water laps and smacks at the granite boulders beneath. Morning rays shimmer and catch on green ocean swells--way out, Minot Light stands guard like a remote sentinel. Seabirds chase early fisherman returning with their catch and the banter of clam diggers echoes as they fork at distant flats.

Closer in, we enhale the aroma of yeast warm bagels as we peer into our white paper bag. Church is important but this is another Sunday benediction.

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