March 17, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for winter to be over!! It feels like it’s been a never ending season this year. And though we’ve had some nice days here in NYC, the cold and wind seem to have been going on long enough and I want Spring. There’s nothing that I can do about the weather but I thought perhaps a change in scenery would lift my spirit so we headed out to Long Island to get a view of the wintery ocean.

I hadn’t been to Long Island since Hurricane Sandy had made a mess of the shore line of the East Coast. I’d seen photos and videos, but I wanted to see it for myself. Once we arrived we drove to the Inlet in Hampton Bays where we’d heard there’d been some damage to the dunes. Most of the dunes were still rich and thick with grass. Though there were some areas that had been washed flat, the grass and wild roses pulled out by the root, laying the beach barren and now vulnerable to the next storm surge.

We talked with a local fisherman about this year’s fishing season.  He said it wasn’t the cold temperatures that bothered him, but it was the high winds that had dispersed the schools of fish and scallop beds. The fishing boats were now having to travel farther distances to gather up the scattered fish.

It was a blustery day and then it began to snow. At first the flakes fell so softly that it was hard to see them, and then a generous drift of snow began to fall. Later in the afternoon there would be larger flakes though in the end they would only add up to a scant inch or two. But at that moment, standing on the beach, when the snow first began to fall with only the sound of crashing waves or the lone call of a seagull gliding over head we experienced one of those beautiful take away moments, a wintery kiss.

But as beautiful as this snowy moment was, I longed to step onto a warm beach, to dig my toes into the sand and let the warm breeze push at me. I wanted to see people again in shirt sleeves fishing and children building fickle sand trenches at the water’s edge.

I missed the surfers decked out in black rubber suits skimming across the water. They play in the waves nearly year round but not on these freezing days. I imagine they’ve migrated to Fiji or some warm crusty island in the Indian Ocean but they are not in these cold waters of Long Island.

I missed the summer sunsets, those unpredictable evenings when the sun’s glare is tamed and subdued by a sheet of lingering afternoon clouds.

I looked forward to the magenta streaked sunsets and watching the hopeful fisherman stand on the shore casting a line into the water. It doesn’t seem anyone is too upset with not catching a fish, but on an evening with the light as lovely as this was, who will remember that they carried home an empty bucket.

I looked forward to standing on the dock where the local fishermen park their boats after long days out at sea. The sky always changing, the salty water rocking the vessels, the heavy fishing gear clanging together making a sailor’s music.

I looked forward to the deep summer months when the monarch butterflies use Long Island as a stop off spot during their unimaginably long migratory journey.

I looked forward to the time when I can sit on the beach, waiting for the evening light and cloudy sky to tumble and churn together. But for now I’ll have to be content with a short walk on a freezing windy beach and then run back to the car where I have a warm cup of  coffee waiting and watch seagulls bracing themselves against the blustery weather.


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5 Responses to I HEAR THE OCEAN ROAR

  1. Patty Little, Kenai Alaska on March 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Winter needs to leave! Your story made me feel like I was there and not having snow and cold up here. thank you for the memory!

  2. thelma straw on March 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    This was masterful! I felt like I was right there for a lovely interlude.

  3. Susan on March 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I agree that it is time for winter to move on and let summer begin! What a great amount of memories you have of Long Island. Thanks for sharing with us and building our anticipation for Summer!

  4. Sharon on March 18, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Thanks Marge for another display of story telling pictures. You have a way of making the reader feel they are there with you.

  5. Petra on April 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I am happy that you are finally getting your Spring. I can understand how much you miss it, as I have travelled a few times to very cold countries in Winter. However I don´t know how it is to live in such an area, where the cold lasts and lasts endlessly. I would probably long for Spring and Summer myself. Here, I love Autumn and Winter days. Temperatures are mild, but never really cold, except for one or two weeks each season. Totally bearable and and an opportunity to wear fancy Winter clothes (just to mention) :))
    Your images and writing here are wonderful. I followed the lines with so much interest and I can figure out what you felt, except for the snowing on dunes and beaches. I have never seen that in my entire life and I think it is beautiful.
    I put myself in the place of the lonely surfer there and I think of the extremely cold water.
    They must love it. Otherwise…what would they do there? I have two surfer sons and one is very active out there, on the waves. But just for fun and he says it is heavenly.
    I especially love that fenced beach. I have seen such scenes in movies once in a while and they always mesmerized me. Also different from here.
    And then the sun over the sea. I spent wonderful moments here and I thank you for it, Margaret.