Monday, March 10, 2008

Like an early spring~

 Winter on the Cape~
I woke this morning with a reminder of the weekend. No, not a hangover-- a brightened spirit.

I spent the weekend "down the Cape" with two teacher friends.

It's the tail end of the off-season on The Cape: the quiet time prior to the surge of tourists and fair-weather residents who'll stream across the Cape Cod Canal after Memorial Day.

The three of us met on Saturday at Mashpee Commons, a shopping center with shops named, among other things: Illusions, Irresistibles, and Quintessentials.

It's well known among my friends that I'm not the quintessential shopper. They suffer no illusions that I will unearth my deeply buried shopper persona on these getaways, which always involve a trip to some irresistible store or other. We synchronize watches, set a meet-up time. They shop, and I wander in and out of stores to eventually settle in a bookstore until time's up. I have no problem with that.

Saturday, however, torrents of wind-whipped rain soaked us to the skin before the first shopping hour was up. We did the round robin cell phone thing and headed back to the cottage to read . . . and nap.

Later we went to dinner early enough to have drinks and an appetizer at the bar before our reservation time. Then dinner, dessert-- creme brulee-- and back to lounge on the couch and talk politics before bed.

In the night the clouds ran dry. Sunday was sunny, cold and windy. We woke to our own internal clocks, and started the day in our own way, mine being a walk with my camera along the beach at the end of the lane.
Then after a late breakfast and a scenic drive, we split to return to our real lives: one to continue the aborted shopping spree, one to the gym, and me to another beach for a long walk into the wind which gusted forty miles an hour.

Today, at school, we met before the kids arrived, and talked about how much fun we had, how tired we are, and how we'll do it again for sure.

It's amazing what a change of place-- and pace-- can do for the winter weary spirit. But more than that, it's the friendship that refreshes and warms the heart, that make the tail end of winter seem like an early spring.
The time must come when this coast will be a place of resort for those New-Englanders who really wish to visit the seaside.~Henry David Thoreau


Dave said...

I have had many of these aha moments in Cape Cod. I am with you I love to walk the secluded and quiet beaches in the prespring days when the sun is warm enough to make the chill more bearable. The sound of the seagulls and the surf takes you to places deep inside and you become one with spirit and you feel your energy surge inside your body. The bliss of the moment does have the effect of charging the batteries of life. I can smell the salt as I write and remember.
Thank you.

Barbara said...

Sounds like a perfect getaway with friends. That last picture is simply magnificent!

Lisa said...

Oh, it sounds like such a wonderful time!! Time with friends is just the BEST. :)

Janice Thomson said...

There's something about an ocean stroll that soothes the weary soul and puts things back into perspective. Beautiful photos Ruth. Loved the ending to this post.

sc morgan said...

Have you read Heaven's Coast, yet. It's the Mark Doty book I reviewed ages ago for the IRB. His descriptions of his walks with his dogs on the cape made me want to live within reach of it. I love your photos and they made it like being there--sort of.

I share your dislike of shopping, Ruth. The names of the shoppes made me laugh. My favorite, in that genre, was called "Nothing I Need." It was on a small island around Seattle, Washington. It went out of business, not surprisingly.

Wanda said...

I was able to visit Cape Cod many years ago, and still hold on to that memory.

Sounds to me like that would be the "Perfect Day".

The pictures are wonderful!!!!!

leslie said...

I visited the Cape way back in 1987 and loved every single grain of sand and every single gust of wind. My dream is to go back and rent a cottage for at least a month (preferably off season, but still in good weather) to get a real feel for it. Everywhere we went people were so friendly. We took a whale watching cruise, walked around Provincetown, saw the Kennedy memorial, and the windmills in I think it was Sandwich area. What a wonderful week that was! It was when we were living in Ottawa for a few years, so the trip wasn't too far. From here, though, it'd be a real journey. I'm envious. :D

Pauline said...

I spent summers on the Cape when I was a child and went again often when my daughter lived in Hyannis. Such wonderful memories this piece evoked, of dawn walks and friendship, and how the winds just sweep through your mindset, whirling things into new directions.

Ruth D~ said...

To all,
Seems like to know the Cape is to love it, and what's not to love . . . except maybe the traffic over the Sagamore bridge.