Thursday, December 26, 2013


The harbor, the winter harbor at Milford is buffleheads and thin sheets of ice here and there, that the canoe knifes through with ease.  They are just thick enough to hold the canoe from drifting with the light breeze while I write and drink some of the hot mint tea that I brewed as a last minute thought before beginning my portage from the house.

The harbor is small with a narrow inlet, a well protected place that would have been good refuge for a 17th century ship and it is at its best in winter when nearly all of the yachts, weary from their ten or twelve days at sea last summer, are hauled out on land and shrink wrapped in white plastic.  The winter harbor is refuge for the working fisherman, and my canoe, and wintering ducks.

S asked me if I get lonely, having moved across the country from my friends and being slower than she is at making contacts (largely because I work alone).  I paused, thinking about what "lonely" means.  I miss friends and family, but I can't see myself fitting into the definition of lonely.  I've traveled solo often enough to know that the first few days of "lonely" are just a period of adjustment to being "alone"...and alone is not lonely.  I tell her that when I feel out of sorts, the closest thing to lonely that I can think of, it is time for me to go to the canoe.  There is no "lonely" in the canoe... lonely is being surrounded by people and having no one to talk to.  The canoe is all about "do", and "see", and "think".  In fact, "think" turned out to be so dominant in the canoe that I started writing this journal.  The canoe is my refuge.

eared grebe

I take few photos in the days overcast, but I take few photos because the wind comes up as I leave the harbor and I paddle home in a trailing chop.  It is a chop that would be of no consequence or interest on most days, but when the sea temperature dips below 40 degrees, nothing is to be ignored.

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