Tuesday, August 27, 2013


We arrived (John, Sherry, Bern and me) on  Saturday (after the two days in Travel Hell and John's Land Rover) about 4 pm, Mimi and Tim flew to Raleigh and got here about 5.

Since then (it's Tuesday noon now) it's pretty much what I said it would be: lots of laughter and the gentle teasing of love; lots and lots of good food and great weather; white wine, boutique beer and white wine; all of us sleeping well and reading at least a book a day; and birds, lots and lots of birds.

I watched this morning from the gazebo half-way between the deck and the steps down to beach level while 60 or70 gulls of several types lined up in double file to stare out to sea from the water's edge. They're still there several hours later, patient and hopeful as early Christians facing into the rising sun to see if today is the day the Lord returns. I don't know what they're doing. I may go down to the ocean in a while to see if they fly away and then come back for whatever conference or meeting or workshop they are attending.

Besides several species of gulls, there are grackles, sandpipers, swirling terns, tiny seabirds that feed on the cochinos the waves bring in and run back to dry when the next wave arrives. And pigeons, I don't remember so many pigeons on Oak Island before. They seem to be nesting in the roof of the gazebo. If you're quiet you can hear the young pigeons rustling above your head. (Pigeons, I happen to know, stay in the nest months longer than any other bird--until they're almost grown. Which, by the way, is why you never see baby pigeons....)

In the marshes north of the beach--Long Beach is a south facing beach, so if you're staring out to sea you should imagine the Caribbean rather than Europe--there are the herons and other long-legged, long-necked, graceful birds.

And then there are the pelicans, confederation after confederation of them. Oak Island is a major breeding ground for Brown Pelicans and they soar and dive and fly in breathless formations up and down the beach with what seems to be some Grand Purpose in mind. I love the pelicans, so grave and serious, so acrobatic and adept--their shadows proceeding or following them up the beach in their group flights. (Since it is a south facing beach the sun moves down the beach from east to west, never shining in your face as you look toward the Bahamas.)

Tim, Mimi and Sherry just got back from buying shrimp, fish (and if I correctly identify the other bags from Fruit and Brew) an abundance of alcoholic items.

I best go, since the quiet time always ends when people return from foraging (hunter-gatherers with credit cards are we....)

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.