Long walk.

It has been a raucous month. Graduation, orientation, parties, beach walks, visits from family, packing for camp, berry picking and even a Supreme Court decision that will go down in history. Now we venture into a July that will bring new things we can’t even begin to imagine and so I offer something comfortingly familiar – June 2012’s edition of a photo I have taken dozens of times in in every season. Few spots are more lovely than Steep Hill Beach at low tide.

On that day a few weeks ago when things were particularly crazy, we were walking up the wooded hill from the beach and as usual I was bringing up the rear, the rest of the family out of sight. Lost in thoughts of all that is to come, I rounded the corner and encountered an older gentleman making his way down the path. Long-sleeved open-collared white shirt with cuffs rolled up, khaki pants, glasses, panama hat. He smiled at me and said in a voice all too familiar,

“Long walk, isn’t it?” His voice had a bit of a midwestern accent, so “isn’t” came out like “idn’t.”

My voice caught a little as I replied,

“Yes, but a good one.”

He nodded.

I wasn’t sure if I was making it up by the time I reached my husband at the top of the path. He raised his eyebrows and said,

“Did you see him? It was your Dad.”

Yes, I think it was.

Trees in the Calm Before the Storm

I posted a photo from the Crane Estate last weekend, and since then, like many places in the world this winter, nature chose to rearrange the landscape.  A fierce storm with high winds took down all the pines at the top of this scene – the ones near the green boxes near the mansion.  You can see here (above) that those white pines are top heavy, and torrential rain thawed the earth beneath the shallow root system and they toppled like toothpicks in hurricane-force winds.   The view below is the what you see when your back is the mansion – those trees sustained little damage, according to the news – when you are at the top of the hill closer to the house you can see the Atlantic.  Hundreds of trees were toppled on this unique property – the grand allee is the only vista of its kind in the U.S. –  that we traverse several times a year and have come to think of as part of our own family history.  We have photos here of our children at every age, and I carried each of them, summer and winter, in backpacks, on my shoulders and on my hip, miles and miles on its trails back and forth to the beach.  The land will heal, new trees will be planted (a restoration was already underway), and we will keep going back, and take more photos.  But we never know when that mighty wind will return.

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