I am making my way toward the island’s main house from the boat landing. Having some distance to go, and these old legs growing tired, I find myself drawn to that table and those chairs to my right. They are calling to me from the cool of the shade of the meandering branches of those old oaks, and I fancy they have been waiting patiently for my weary passing along this dusty path this hot and humid dog-day Georgia afternoon.
This garden entrance is well tended, Suggesting a pleasing view behind. Yet I dare not try the latch For fear of disappointment. Some doors, you’ll agree, are best left closed, For heaven’s allure is strongest when veiled.
Early morning walk Darkness fading Wakening birds season the quiet Joggers to arrive soon Sun to rise soon Cars to cobblestone-rumble by soon I look to this gate It seems secure I ponder what shelter may lie behind
One morning every two weeks more or less, when the falling tide aligns with the rising sun just right, Elaine and I wheel our homemade dinghy down to the end of our street where it meets the sandy bank of the Tolomato. We launch the boat there and row across the river to Indian Creek where we explore and map its several winding navigable channels and their shallow branches that slice through the marsh’s cordgrass; where we marvel at the heron, and the ibis, and the stork that hunt knee deep in the shallow waters near oyster bars and take flight with wing-beating haste as we draw near; where we seek out promising locations to fish for mangrove snapper, spotted sea trout, and black and red drum. You would not think it, but each and every boating morning, upon climbing out of sleep and as I wait for daylight to leak into night’s darkness, I listen with languid longing for the sound of rain or of strong wind so that I might whisper to my wife that we must cancel our outing and that we might console ourselves in a second sleep. Fortunately, the gods care for me to the extent that they rarely provide me with a heavenly-excused absence from our undertaking. They are better aware than I that the audible snap of bone against bone as my legs slide from under the covers and bend over the bed’s edge and that the satanic tingling in my left foot as it touches the floor are indicative of the indisputable truth that the greater part of my life stretches far behind me, and yet so much of our understanding of Indian Creek lacks sufficient detail. They are also better aware – praise them – that the taste of eggs, and bacon, and strong coffee prove more gratifying and flavorsome when consumed as Elaine and I pencil in the latest additions to our master map upon our return later that morning.