this is my view all week… pretty much, I find this to be a magical place, to recharge my batteries completely, this is a private community, so you have to be a guest, or there is one or so rentals available (being coy), I connect to this place, I could live here happily and die here even more so… these sights and the fresh bay seafood, the wild life, watching the falcons, eagles, hawks and osprey hunt over the bay… maybe this is not the tropics, maybe this is not paradise, maybe this is to me.. and so I keep coming back and it welcomes me….
Some more photos of the beach, the main one mostly, they have a huge fire pit, I do not know the laws in your part of the earth but here in Jersey? They might call out swat if you start a fire on the beach (you are not even allowed on the beaches at night)… in rural Maryland ? You can sit by a huge bonfire serenaded by the waves and bay breeze (while having a bay breeze)… and that my friends makes it worth every penny… and see all the people ? Um… so yeah, this is why I love the place so I can unpack my thoughts… or not think at all.
I tried to capture the vibe of the place (including fauna) This is a northeast US beach towered over by 200 foot cliffs (to the west) which makes it rather unique (although the beach itself is not very deep due to this fact). The ‘beach’ by the house I rent is gone completely now). This private community was founded by scientists back in the 1940s interested in the local American chestnut tree population and vast amount of Miocene era fossil deposits (including Megalodon – fossils which are easily found washed up on the beach – you can see them trapped in the rocks/clay in a couple of the photos). This is more of a housing community than a town… and is surrounded by thousands of acres of nature trails (American Chestnut Land Trust) which the community itself has chipped in and bought up over the years (next time I will get more photos and video of that – they are awesome.) Great hidden gem in rural Maryland (and some great local restaurants only 15 minutes away). If you have any questions drop a comment in. I am glad to share the information about this area to anyone.
I wonder how many others have wandered here, how many other feet, how many years, generations, for I surely have
I was here
I have taken things from this beach, and perhaps this beach has taken things from me, time at least,
such little impact yet I feel
I feel some sense of ownership, pride I guess, ego
the wind churns, and the tide turns
the waves crash, the gulls hang there, standing in mid air
and I all I want
is to belong.
vacation… as a creature of habit I do tend to frequent the same places year to year, I like the familiarity, it allows me to truly unplug and drain the old overactive brain from the strain of work and the everyday, this is what I am doing this week, vacate, quite literally, I could feel all the negative stress flow out of me as soon as I arrived and got settled in, my mind is clear, empty, sure, I keep tugs on the tethers of the other life I put on a shelf for a week, almost impossible to totally disconnect, but now this is like a second home, a refuge, I know the town as well as my own @ home, I know the roads, the lands, the turns, the tides, there is comfort in that, and how just super nice people are here, almost surreal, they all wave hello regardless of what is going on, it takes some getting used to but becomes second thumb after not too long, a day or so, I spend the days walking the beach for hours upon hours, there are more birds than people, my crocs in hand I just walk for as long as the encroaching tide allows, kind of like Red @ the end of Shawshank, except I am not looking to find anyone, and I am not a felon, so, besides that it feels the same, I think of the quote Red (Morgan Freeman) says about prison, about the walls being ‘funny’, and I wonder if that applies to my back there life, the walls are there to keep you in but after a while you depend on them, have I constructed my own prison? for comfort, regardless of it is the best I can do for myself or not? and does this show that sometimes you need a place, fictional or otherwise, to step outside yourself and take a look at your life from some other perspective… in a way I think we all know what we are doing wrong or could improve, but sometimes being able to stop the ride and get off provides a clarity like no other, and I am in that space now… wed night, already? I can feel the creeping twinge of anxiety approaching knowing I am halfway through my time here, like all my good porch time I will try to bottle this up somewhere in the corner of my mind , remember the lapping waves of the bay on my feet, all day the subtle roar, walking along the shore, the sweet soreness in my legs from walking in sinking wet sand all day, the occasional encounter with people and their dogs, the little DYI beach houses with kayaks stacked from summers gone, other ones crook and bent from years of storms, neglect and surf, the majestic grey heron that won’t let me get within twenty yards – every year, I wonder what sort of talisman I can create and capture all this charm, to summon when needed later on.
Notes… I am currently in Scientist Cliffs, MD… I come here every year, it is an unique place if you read up on it. I can not say I am roughing it, there is cable internet (upload speed is iffy so I can’t post as much as I really want to photo/video wise)… and a mere fifteen minute drive into town has tons of dining options, and of course the seafood is to die for… crabs crabs crabs… and oysters, if it was possible to OD on oysters I would be quite dead. This is a Covid desert pretty much (compared to New Jersey) but still not totally open, and honestly I am not ready for that either (doing all take out, thankfully all my fave places have been scraping by and are still here… so I tip them well as I have done fine in this covid time money wise). This is a great place for kids also, if you want any info just shoot me a line, I am glad to share.
my blog this week will more likely be a travel log sort of thing (as if it has some usual tract), if I happen to be inspired to write, I will, much like my annual Cape May trip I like to find some places a bit out of the way and hopefully distill the experience for you as I perceive it…
so today, being my first official day of vacation, I made sure not to sleep the day away, which I love to do as work has been exhausting lately, but I managed to drag myself out of bed at the early hour of 10am (early for me… ok?), from there I basically I walked the beach, listening to the surf talking behind my back, trying to take it all in, getting closer to that grey heron I see every year, closer than I have ever been, he made a complaining squawk as he flew away, I guess 10 feet is his dancing space, dully noted, I started at the jetty on the south beach, as it is known here, the sun was strong, I learned my lesson last time out, and not wanting a screaming neck I broke out my coppertone, careful not forget my satellite dish ears, too often I forget these outliers and they wind up like strips of bacon, and not half as tasty, maybe I enjoy the monotony, the symphony of sameness that is waves, sure, this is a bay, so it is not quite the ocean, but you can not see past the horizon either way, I ran across a total of four people, one couple, two individuals, mostly everyone here are happy warriors, happy to live in such a magical place, and almost everyone has dogs, so I am sold, but one guy today, not a smile, a curmudgeon hiding behind his wilford brimley mustache with a puppy no less who wanted to pounce all over me, which would have bothered me none, I think it was some sort of spaniel/retriever, I could not tell, and since sourpuss would not even acknowledge my hello I will never know, I walked farther than I recall, this is low tide and provides greater range, so I go as far as I can, I come upon familiar mental triggers, I remember the landscape well, the willow tree where I found my first mako, various boat houses I saw destroyed by storms in the past, places on the cliffs with caged stone like you see on some highways to try and keep the bay erosion at bay, for now, walking down the line, my crocs in hand, like a lost traveler on some lost beach, but this is the northeast, this seems more like a scene in the caribbean, but that is just it… this is the northeast I know, and these parts have been inhabited for long now, I mind my time by the tide, getting back will not be as easy when the tide comes in, and I am not in my swimming trunks or swimming mood, and certainly not with all the jellies in the water today, I should have started a study on the amount of jellyfish I saw, pulsing hearts, tiny discs, brilliant flowers inside glass, some red and brown like fall colors, I try to avoid them but must admit I stepped on a couple of them, this is a wild place, there is no places to sit, after a while I realize I need to sit, the lactic acid has built up, it seems like I have been walking for days, lost in the wilderness but strict north to south, listening to that surf, an easy surf today, clear water, I could see the blue crabs scurry away from my hulking frame, so I wandered like a fish in his water, until I could get no further, and turned back, wondering if I had the energy to do so… and the realization I had walked off my stress, I am indeed decompressed, I breathe in as deeply as I can, to feel the emptiness, the lack of having a burden for at least this moment, to let go of everything, take off my sweaty hat, sweep my brow, sit on a log, look out at those tiny ripple waves, and breathe, and breathe again, regardless of my failures, or my accomplishments, I am here right now, soak it all in… and so I will… for now…
I consider myself good with the written word, but sometimes nature just makes it impossible for me to speak on paper like she reveals to my eyes, maybe that is why I do not write much (at all) when I am here, I am overwhelmed by what I see so I use that lens thing to share it with you, I am by no means a photographer, or even a pretend one, I can only point and hope it captures what I am seeing for sharing here, so I will post something I wrote previously but have not gotten around to posting immediately (from my last vacation apparently)…
10.8.2018 Upon Steger Beach, Cape May NJ
I write these lines, in an ancient place
time in sand and hand in hand
under the starlit sky of constellations
who’s light I see
spans further than all generations of man
the surf and the waves do not witness
the bustling about
the faces, the walking, the talking
our lives of importance carved in ego
as a vapor, a mist, passing
all to fall, all the while
the ocean, pulses on, millennial song
against the shore, been and gone
Musical accompaniment: (to me the perfect beach song…)
this is one of those songs that transports me to a certain time, I had my ipod mini (remember those? lol) and I sat nights looking out at the atlantic in islamorada (FL Keys), I remember watching thunderstorms coming in off the ocean in little castles on the horizon, I could see the lightning on the stark aqua tone as the waves lapped at my toes, all in paradise, late at night, cradling a drink, with this song as the soundtrack. sometimes a song just does that, this is that, for me.
I have been uploading plenty of vids to my youtube channel, I ain’t saying they are great but hopefully they do reveal the feel of where I am at.