Ocean Peace at Ned's Point
Spring is 48 hours away. I have been away from my woods, marsh and meadows for almost four days: they are at times the keel of my life. Now I find myself with my cousin Judy in Massachusetts. It's a bit after sunrise down at Ned's Point, a spit of land jutting into the bay in the town of Mattapoisett. The funeral was the afternoon before. Just as in the ways of nature there are beginnings and endings; so it is in the ways of human life. Nothing we can do about that. The funeral was for Henry. Henry was her uncle; my step dad. We wandered off to Ned's Point for solace and peace, the kind of peace and comfort offered by the rhythm of the sea, the flight of the gull and early morning low-horizon sunshine shimmering on gentle waves. If you understand the ways of nature you understand. If not, you don't. And although I had not seen Judy for almost three decades, as she stood near the lighthouse on Ned's Point I came to realize this wind-swept point of land was something of a keel in her life. We walked back to the family gathering at her house, past stone walls and sassafras trees and weathered seaside homes without saying much. We did not have to. Henry might have understood too, for Ned's Point was a place he used to sail - - a long, long time ago.