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.
Someone has tied up a skiff at the southern end of the marina flood wall. It sits hard aground in the outgoing tide amidst sea grasses and rocks. It has no oar locks, so whoever brought it to shore likely used a small outboard and then took it with him for safe keeping (a two horsepower motor can weigh as little as 30 pounds). There are two to three inches of water in the hull so the boat has been here since at least Tuesday when we last we had a heavy rain. Perhaps it belongs to the captain of one of those half dozen sailboats I see moored to the southeast. I wonder where the captain is now, and I turn west to study the houses and inns that line the quay, as though I might see him hurrying along on his business, as though I might learn in which of my mind’s thousand stories he belongs.
Topping the protective dune, we froze, speechless in wonder to see the birth of the day laid out before us.
I will never know the breadth of God,
Nor the height, nor the depth.
Yet, I pause in awe of dawn’s majesty
Some early morning walks by the sea.
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.