Anne Notations

Friday, March 07, 2008

The waves, the wind

Oakland Beach looking west, March 5, 2008

When I was 16, I rode my bike one windy spring afternoon to the lighthouse at Ned's Point. There I sat on a large rock at the shoreline and watched the waves, whipped by an offshore storm. The water was a rippling dark-green muscle that churned, gathered itself, and smashed into the rocks piled below me. Froth flew upward as if spat, and the receding surf sucked and sizzled before surging back onto the breakwater again.

Over and over, this syncopated pageant of fearsome, gorgeous power repeated itself. I sat, as mesmerized as a voyeur at an orgy by the heave and clash of the ocean flinging itself at the rigid, waiting shore. The diary I kept fitfully in those years is now locked in a storage shed, but that night I wrote something like this: "I kept staring at the water. I loved the ocean and never wanted to go away from it."

Well, here I am, back with my briny love. Our home today is located on salt water, but it is situated well up Rhode Island's long, defining bay, which means that generally our waves are gentler and less turbulent than those that cast a spell on me 40 years ago.

Still, on Wednesday this week, when 30- to 55 mph winds wreaked havoc on trees and even our sturdy outdoor table (right), the bay put on a pretty impressive show of its own. Kevin, Daisy, and I braved the stinging wind to take a look.


You may click on any photo to see it larger.


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