Perhaps the most enticing phrase in Henry Beston’s Outermost House (just re-read for easily the 15th time, during and after our Cape Cod sojourn) is “I like the seven windows of my larger room.” Those of you who know me know I spent 5 yes perilous years in a Canal-side, forest-surrounded apartment, which had barely any windows and less light. I am free of that situation now, but seven windows in one room would be more precious to me than diamonds, even without the Atlantic Ocean or Nantucket Sound or Cape Cod Bay within listening distance.
Because of his views from the Eastham beach house, Henry could exult, “Into the bright, vast days I go.” Carolyn Yoder, Jeanette Hooban and I also poured ourselves into bright vast days. Unlike Henry, we did not trek the midnight beach, no matter the weather, preferring the luxury of snap/crackling fires and favorite films instead.
Vastness was particularly rewarding below Chatham Light, where seals beyond counting were basking and humming (! I kid you not!) on a Chatham bar — sandbar, just beyond our reach.
And Carolyn Yoder, who held the glasses at that moment, saw this very rare, calm, powerful creature spout.
I select scenes from our various sea-side treks, gllmpses that convey our time, not in an Outermost House (which the Blizzard of ’78 washed out to sea anyway), but a Marsh-side, pond-side house in South Chatham.
Explore with us. Experience the pristine beauties of the Cape, saved by President Kennedy not long before his death. He, –man of Hyannis–, well knew the Cape’s value and its peril. He braved the wrath of many forms of financiers during his tenure, –not the least of whom were those who would develop/destroy the sacred essential sands from just above Chatham to and beyond Provincetown.
Henry Beston, in one of his countless memorable paragraphs, writes of “the restless sea and the mutable land.”
In Cape Cod, land is still principally mutated by wind, sand, sea and its tides. Thanks to severe preservation measures in the 1960, under our soon-to-be-martyred President Kennedy, Cape Cod is a paradise of the natural.
Preserve whatever you can in your territory, wherever it is!