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Thursday, August 20, 2009

The View from Afar

After almost thirty years of working full-time, the world looks different on a week day. At eleven, the sun shines on colors that seemed magnified across unfettered openness. Not used to being home before sunset, I’ve been looking at the world around me with new eyes. At 2:00 p.m. it takes on a depth and tangible quality, light you can almost touch--so different from the ultra-violet illumination and shadows of an interior office—or exiting to a parking lot when the sun is dipping below the trees. The newness has remained with me over the last several months, and on my many walks exploring the area while discovering places I have never been, I longed for an audience with which to share the beauty.

This week I have received my wish as I tour-guided Australian visitors—my sister Sarah, who has lived northwest of Melbourne for over thirty years, her twenty-four year old daughter who was raised there, and two of my sister’s neighbors, who traveled with them “on holiday.” My new eyes served me well as we plotted a map to show them the local sights—having learned recently that around here, you can’t go wrong. Every street, every vista, the shores, the beaches, country lanes, lighthouses, are all colored with that seaside brightness--open air, washed blue sky, expansive horizons and soft breezes. When I played tour guide for guests earlier this summer the rain almost defeated us. This week is making up for it and I have had the luxury of introducing the radiance of our area under a steaming sun and salted sea breezes.

My sister’s two friends both brought journals in which they are diligently writing each night, commenting on the day’s expedition, including tidbits they have cut and pasted from local tourist media. One friend asked for a synopsis of the locations we visited yesterday—the rock farm beaches of Minot, antique Cohasset Common, our own Sandy Beach, ironically displaying a multitude of rocks, the low tide expanse of Nantasket Beach, the view of two lighthouses from Telegraph Hill at Fort Revere; the fishermen casting their lines at Hull Gut. After recording the details, Sarah’s friend Glenda wrote in her journal something like, “The beauty of the area is incomparable. They are so lucky to live here.”

What a blessing it is to share this South Shore where I've lived for twenty-five years through the clear vision and pristine lenses of these newly minted eyes. I echo her statement. I’m lucky to live here.

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