Monday, August 31, 2009

By The Sea

I sit by the sea. Under a royal blue umbrella, one of twelve in a row worthy of Cannes. It is dusk and through my half closed eyes I am watching a blonde chihuahua. Like the baby in a herd of maternal elephants, he darts in and out through the legs of his companions, three plump and brightly dressed ladies as much like Sleeping Beauty’s good fairies as it is possible to be. The little fellow is happy, splashing through the surf, carrying his tiny tail high like a yellow parenthesis waving behind him, punctuating the salty air with wags of joy. Far out to sea, another storm rages. I see the rain falling, a grey trunk on a tree with black leaves. I watch it as one would watch a play, far removed from the drama in my seat on the shore.
Far removed from the drama.
I doze.
One by one they scattered behind me, small worries, great plans, insignificant trivialities - they flew out the open windows like spent roses loosed from a summertime bouquet, the last paperthin petal floating away on the breeze as I crossed the old bridge to the island. The ancient salt marshes waved down below me, lime coloured puzzle pieces strewn over glass, whispering the way to the sea.
I followed them here with relief.
The old inn is as I remembered, cheerful bedside flowers, curtains reaching their hems out to greet me, blowing into the room, heralds of the roaring sea just outside.
Rushing in, rushing out, cleansing, restoring.
Eternally beckoning.
The afternoon storms depart after painting the skies with the colours of Easter. Sand like a lilac mirror - clouds above, a celestial neighborhood of peach castles. The sea is golden and I am the only soul on the beach. I walk out in the surf until all I see is water. I could be a million miles at sea, on another continent, in another time. All has already happened, all is yet to be. I think of the great lion just now crossing the threshold, his journey completed, his laurels to come. He, too, loved the sea. All that I don’t know, he knows now. All that I can’t see, he sees.
I say goodbye to him. I say goodbye to Summer.
The sea has done its work. I feel cleansed, restored.
I am ready to go home.
Until it beckons again.

The commitment I seek is not to outworn views but to old values that will never wear out. Programs may sometimes become obsolete, but the ideal of fairness always endures. Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue."

Senator Ted Kennedy


  1. I was right there with you, P.
    What will we do now without Teddy?
    The end of so many things... but I will be hopeful for the beginning of many brilliant beginnings for our country - due to him. An exceptional man from an exceptional family. Who will/can walk in his shoes? Our President, I am sure.
    Here's to Autumn, my friend! Cheers!

  2. Beautiful writing ~ I felt as though I was there sitting at the seaside, under the royal blue umbrella next to yours.

    Enjoy your weekend

  3. The painting is beautiful and so apropro with your tribute to Senator Kennedy.

  4. I was lying on the beach watching the chihuahua darting between brightly dressed ladies and I relished walking alone along lilac sands ....all that is left to say is ....Pamela, you MUST write a book.

  5. That hidden veil drifts closer every day concealing the wonders that lie beyond...whereever or whenever we hear the call, like being in a boarding school, the best thing is going home.

  6. It amazes me how messages come in waves sometimes. Just yesterday I had to force myself to breathe, so flooded with stress I was. I closed my eyes and imagined the surf as I breathed - in, out. When I told my husband about it after work, he showed me this video at wimp of the rising and ebbing sea, to the sound of a woman breathing. Now you post these words about the salt marshes, so vividly I am there. Oh, and my husband and I want to go to the salt marshes at Christmas.

    Yes, and good-bye, Ted. Thank you.

  7. Hello P&E,

    Glad you feel restored by your visit to the sea. As ever, you painted a very clear and colourful picture and a very touching tribute.

  8. need to add a painting to this was allready there your words.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  9. This is beautiful Pamela & so appropriate.It was incredibly sad when they showed on the news his boat without him. He was a brilliant but humane man. The Kennedy's are & were a family to respect.Terrific job!

    Wonderful weekend to you!

  10. How beautiful - reading your words has soothed me and made me feel tranquil, calm and peaceful - just as if I had been there with you:)

  11. I've read your post with open mouth!


  12. Thanks for giving me the gift of walking the sea with you. As I read, I was struck by how much it is nature that returns us to whole, when we've been torn up, wrinkled and faded out by the day to day of some days. The restorative powers of wind, water, and land.

    Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy.

  13. A fitting tribute Pamela - I have just watched his funeral on TV. As usual your words are poetic and beautiful.

  14. I have not read any blogs for ages, just caught up with yours, all beautiful as ever - you really should write a book.

    Where was that holiday rental you posted a pic of it? Looked the idea place to go on holiday and with your darling Edward.

    I loved the painting in The Orchestra post too, who is the artist?

  15. A beautiful tribute. Thank you for it.

  16. Your gift with words leaves me...without adequate words to praise you. Beautifully written.

    Who created the painting? I often think, when looking out at the sea, how incredibly difficult it must be to capture the complexity of a seascape. This artist did a magnificent job.

  17. Beautiful images, Pamela. Thank you for honoring Senator Kennedy, a "lion" indeed.

  18. You really just blow my mind with your beautiful and magical way with words. I'm so, so lucky that you write so often.
    This took my breath away.
    xo Isa

  19. A beautiful, beautiful post. Don't you wish some moments could be trapped in time. Sweet kisses to E & A from Miss Winnie Dixon. So happy to hear that you had a perfect and restorative holiday by the sea.

  20. Oh, a most wonderful paean to Summer's end, Pamela. Thank you for transporting me to your far distant shores!

  21. Such beautiful words and images - thank you. Leigh

  22. beautiful thoughts. kennedy's passing really feels like the end of an era, doesn't it. in your version, it actually feels very hopeful. thank you for that.

  23. Lovely. How did the two come together? An inspired pairing!

  24. Beautiful tribute to a wonderful man- the last of the brothers - they are all together now. Having a pint and singing the songs of the Irish !

  25. Your husband was at my house last Saturday night, and he bragged on your writing. Great blog.

    This rhythm and flow of this tribute moves me. I feel the words inside. Thanks.


  26. Simply beautiful. A perfect reflection. Thank you.

  27. oh, haha! yeah, i think that's one of my favorites too!

    thanks for clarifying!


  28. Beautiful tribute. I so enjoyed this break with you by the shore.

  29. Pamela...a wonderful tribute!
    Like Catherine I was there, thanks for allowing me to be! Love to you, Edward & Apple! :)

  30. Your prose is beautiful and a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and talent with all of us.

  31. So beautiful is your work and your words, I am always deeply touched. Believe it or not I almost fell asleep readingthis: ~ curtains reaching their hems out to greet me, blowing into the room, heralds of the roaring sea just outside. Rushing in, rushing out, cleansing, restoring. Eternally beckoning~

    So wonderful, just as I remember it in my childhood.

  32. Ohhh, your words take my breath away. You are a master of word weaving. I, too, will forever miss the liberal lion. May he rest in peace.

    And, I too, love the sea and am in need of salt air cleansing and sunshine kisses. I cannot wait until I cross the old bridge and the marshes wave at me as I arrive on our small island. I miss it and my little island cottage.

    Your words never fail to move me.

    Thank you,

  33. A really moving post Pamela. You write so beautifully.

  34. Lovely, lovely words and a beautiful painting. The sea is so soothing. It is sad to see the last of a generation from a family that gave so much to public service. This is a good remembrance.

  35. I can taste the sea air. Thank you for sharing that beauty.

    "It's always ourselves we find in the sea", e. e. cummings, clever man.

    I completely understood as you spoke of time as something that is already written, yet to happen - so true Pamela.

  36. Lovely tribute...You created such a wonderful visual with this post.....

  37. I read this with tears filling my eyes. What a grand tribute! And I have no doubt that he had one hand on your shoulder as you wrote it. And perhaps the other hand was wiping away a tear as he read it. Keep up the good work. Bravo!
    Bless you for sharing with so many....Cheryl


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