I MUST GO DOWN TO THE SEA AGAIN
“…to the lonely sea, and the sky…
and all I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by…”
The stars we seek at Island Beach usually have wings:
Rare Snow Buntings of Late December, by Angela Previte
PROFOUND THANKS TO ANGELA PREVITE FOR HER FELLOWSHIP AND HER AMAZING GIFT WITH THE SEA CREATURES OF ISLAND BEACH!
Today is spring, spring in a time of plague. I don’t know it at first, waking… This morning, I first heard John Masefield’s treasured “SEA FEVER”, repeating and repeating, –as song, as message. There was a significance in his masterpiece which I could not, at first, decipher.
I don’t need Masefield’s ship. The sea alone will do. Or even the Bay, Barnegat Bay.
Our electrifying, infinite, luminous Atlantic. And that ten pristine miles, of dune and bayberry and lichen and beach plum and even ferns, overlooked by osprey nests beyond counting, — our sacred Island Beach.
This magnificent park, with some exceptions in terms of structures, has never been altered, -by anything but winds and sands and waters of varying salinity-, since the Atlantic pulled back to grant us this noble beach.
My sea is different from John’s in other ways. Cornwall’s rocky coasts inspired him, and their “warm winds, the west winds, full of birds’ cries.” Several of our Delaware Valley Impressionists immortalized Cornwall and can be seen at Doylestown’s Michener Museum in virusless times. Cornwall’ tumultuous ocean captivates me beyond words, and not only because of King Arthur. Think Maine toppled upon Oregon, and add the British variety of oystercatchers ‘peopling’ crevices among those rocks.
But the gift of our Atlantic is sand, magnificent sand. Jerseyans proudly call it ‘sugar sand’.
Bare Feet in April Sand, Island Beach
Those who know me, know that fellowship is huge for me, especially where sea is concerned. Here is Ray Yeager, master nature photographer, in his favorite setting — Bayside:
Here, Jeanette Hooban considers which turn to take on the Spizzle Creek Trail. You won’t be surprised that she and Ray and I fully explored both options.
Sometimes, our fellowship has four legs – though we are sad at the health situation of this noble fox. Humans feeding foxes ruin their immune systems. Yet, we were honored.
April was cold that year, and we were desperate for green. Healthy real moss where it’s always belonged, coming back to life, on Reed’s Road.
You can see that ‘the ocean’/’the sea’ means many things to me.
Realize that when I first read Masefield, this Michigander had not met the sea.
Masefield at dawn today revealed something I did not realize:
In this time of Corona-House-Arrest,
what I miss most is the POSSIBILITY of BEING WITH THE SEA.