|Autumn begins in New England|
Hugging my knees as I sat on a giant boulder last night, I watched sunset on the milky blue ocean and thought I'd never seen anything so beautiful. Flocks of geese passed overhead close enough to hear the beat of their wings; egrets bobbed on the sparkling silver-blue water and there I was, a tiny speck of existence perched on my rock. Soon Marc joined me, having just rolled up on his mountain bike, reveling in the fact that his commute from work is a dirt path through the woods that blanket the center of Cape Ann.
How did we get here?
This place is starting to feel like home, especially because Marc got a job at the local hardware store, where most customers are greeted by name. Two resident dogs hang out at the cash registers to welcome customers' dogs who head straight to the cashiers for their free dog biscuit.
On his first day of work an old man came in to buy some rope and offered Marc twenty bucks to come by his house on the way home and help him rig a pulley system for his bird feeder. I like this place.
I am spending my days on the porch, on the hammock, or sitting at the window, making the final touches to a dissertation that I'll submit this month. It's mostly footnote checking, bibliography construction, and making sure that the 400 pages flow together in one seamless . . . book.
How did I get here?
Marc and I are constantly wondering at the non-inevitability of human history. Nothing was destined to happen as it did; it only happened because certain individuals did certain stuff. Civilization was not fated to have violins, the English language was not meant to be, cars were certainly not the inevitable form of personal transportation, electricity could just as well never have been harnessed.
Once my life has taken a certain path, it always feels inevitable. It feels like of course my life was always headed this way. I have to pause and remind myself that every path I've taken, every dream I've chased, was not laid out before me. I forged a way, frightened by never having a reassuringly well-trodden path.
Anyway, that's how I got here. Only to find our Cape Ann woods full of the lessons I've been learning all along.
"Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; make it hot by striking." -William B. Sprague