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
Behind Nix Boatyard and up Oyster Creek, across from the southeast corner of Creekside Restaurant’s dirt parking lot, past the wood pile, through the trees, and over the damaged docks lining the creek on this bank, clean over to the landing on the creek’s far side, you will see, should you choose to look in that direction upon exiting your vehicle, the two-masted schooner, Resilience out of Rhode Island. Under repair by its owners after being battered in October’s hurricane, Resilience will not set a northward course home for at least one more month. However, you might predict – and more than one seaman has already agreed – that, once she is under full sail, she promises to be one of the most beautiful sights afloat. Furthermore, you may, however briefly, be filled with calming courage and a spirit of adventure, and square your shoulders with casual confidence and determination as you stride toward your appointment for dinner.
The old man saw first that the nearest boat was for sale, even through the confines of his camera’s viewfinder, even through the fog, even through the sunless grey of early dawn. And, though he was of insufficient funds, and of strength (and of remaining time), he struggled to make out the contact number.
As the sun rises over these pyramids, Does it warm the fourteen hundred below And rouse them from their collective sleep? Crowded there, do some still swap tales of the Seminole And debate the merits of their cause? Do some bow their heads in prayer? Do some weep?
If I had to choose, I would take the ketch, which is moored farther away from me toward the bay’s eastern shore, for I am partial to the lines of older boats and especially so to two-masted ones. But – honestly? – any one of them would suit my purpose at this particular moment.
On at least one star-filled morning each month, I can be found elbow-supported, wooden-railing leaning at the end of the Lighthouse Pier where I gaze toward the sand-duned line along the southernmost end of Salt Run. There, by the light of a sun that has yet to crest those sandy ridges, night’s quiet transformation into day occurs so swiftly that my brain can but register its changes as stop motion animation: changes in the sky where yellow intrudes upon dark charcoals, diluting them into steely blues; changes that brighten and polish smooth patches of water so that channel markers and mooring floats might reflect upon their states; and changes that shear night’s veil guarding a secured ketch till the boat’s emerging beauty seduces me once again.
The sun rises to the south in St. Augustine during the winter. On cloudless mornings then, once the sun clears the trees that line the shore on Anastasia Island, it brightens and burnishes the south side of the Bridge of Lions in a manner that brings to my mind the bridge over River Itchen by the gates of the Royal Court of Arthur.
On the first star-filled morning of each second month, I hasten to the Lighthouse Pier where I take photos in the rosy-dawn light of sailboats at anchor on Salt Run. There, at each click of my camera’s shutter, I find myself inserted into misty images of daring voyages to distant and mystical lands.