Poet, Essayist, Photographer, Naturalist

A Sunday Morning Walk

Light wind isn’t the phrase I’d use to describe weather this morning. There was no wind at all. This was an unusual weather lull. The weather was stationary, between fronts, clear sky with full sunshine. Balmy.

It was strangely quiet. The village had yet to wake. Those who had worked 6 days were sleeping in. after the past few days of wind chill and rain and gray, I had to get out. I had a sad feeling to deal with. I was carrying something heavy. Perhaps a walk could lighten the load.

I didn’t plan a destination until I started my walk. I’d go to the Great South Bay and just stand there and look. I’d never seen it so quiet. A few passing cars, a jogger, and a barking dog, Sampawams Creek was sheet smooth with not a ripple. Flags were limp and none of the boats moved.

I quickened my pace, rolling ankles and pushing with toes to get  extra inches in each step. I was rolling along with powerful legs and acute awareness. I passed a man cleaning his gutters. The sound of aluminum ladder against aluminum gutter was sharp and clear. With the lack of background noise, even the sweeping sounds by a man cleaning sand from the curb caught my attention.

I kept thinking about Ted, a close friend and his situation. I love him like no other man. When we laugh together, it is pure joy. I especially admire his one pointed attention.

I finally reached the bay and stopped to rest and look. There was some  wind, but not much. The wind was just enough to create a soft tumble of water on the pebbly beach. I could see across to Oak Island, the two bridges, the lighthouse, and the water tower. Off in the distance, a single power boat with an outboard that broke the silence. I stood still a while absorbing all this beauty, all this stillness, all this quiet. Ted kept popping up.

I started back, quickly finding the rhythm I created outbound. The village was waking up: the laughter of two children at the playground; two neighbors in conversation in a driveway. I began to feel the heavy load I carried lifting. I felt my grief softening.

I’ve only experienced a few other days like this. It’s like the weather has taken the day off. I knew this from the beginning of the walk. I knew I had to savor this to the max.

I knew that Ted would survive even with such drastic surgery. Doctors feared that the cancer in his arm would spread. Amputate. This word is like an earthquake to my mind and heart. My friend has lost his arm. I am carrying his pain and somehow I know, that he will be fine.


Tom Stock                                                                November 14, 2017


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