Long Island Sound from Bluff Point, Groton, Connecticut.
Photo by Curtis Ramsey-Lucas
From the editor: the pull of the water’s edge
After three weeks’ vacation and a similar hiatus for the newsletter, it’s good to back! I visited North Carolina’s Outer Banks, rafted the lower New River in West Virginia, and returned to the Connecticut shore where I spent summers growing up.
Water tied everything together and reminded me of something I read years ago in a book of reflections by residents of Groton Long Point, Connecticut. Writing about his experience as a child in the 1930s traveling from his family’s home in Montclair, New Jersey, Gardner Colson described what he did each time he arrived at the shore.
“Always, without fail, and without conscious thought, my first heading on arrival was to the margin of the tide.” Colson sought, in part, to reassure himself that the hermit crabs, minnows, and mussels were where he’d left them the year before. “The meeting of me and the edge of salt water was what summer was all about, an absorbing search for strange or familiar inhabitants of the tide.”
But the water’s edge exerted a deeper pull. “The philosophers of human origins express a belief that man heeds an immemorial call to return to the tide’s edge, the origin of his own and all other life,” Colson wrote. “Now, forty years later, I still follow the summer tide and see children taking up the same absorbed preoccupation. And I think the philosophers are close to wisdom if not truth. And I think this place is here to give children a chance to learn their origins.”
The water’s edge exerts a similar pull on me, a reminder of life’s ancient origins in the ocean. It was good to get back to it this summer and now it is good to get back to work.
Visit here for this week’s stories as well as articles published earlier this month. Be well and thanks for reading!