Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Eleven


            I will never tire of seeing the sunrises here.  Each morning when I wake up around 6 a.m. the sun is just beginning to come up over the mountains to the east.  The sky is just beginning to turn shades of pink and purple.  Then, as the coffee is brewing, the sky begins its first hints that the day is breaking and the big orange ball of light will break over the horizon.  Suddenly, there it is…so bright you cannot look at it, with an intensity that is overpowering, overwhelming.  Some days, when it is warm enough to sit on the porch that faces east, we sit and talk and have our coffee but have to look away, because the sun’s brightness cannot be tolerated by our eyes.  The beauty of the sea is enough to concentrate on if one cannot look in the direction of the mountains.  The ever changing tidal flow brings a constant parade of birds, visiting the rocks where the tide has deposited their breakfast, as they hunt each crack and crevice to see what may be revealed to them.  They circle the area, choosing the place to land that may bring them what they need at the moment, some morsel of seafood that will satisfy them for a while. 
            The work in the harbor goes on.  The big digging machine has returned to do its work once more, dredging up big portions of mud and silt to deposit in the dump trucks that come and go on a regular basis.  They work against the tide that is out for the moment but will return in the next few hours.  They take mud and silt that has formed over months and years and take it to some place that only they know about and then return to take another load.  Who knows where the mud and silt will spend the future?  It is not needed here because the sea will bring more to take its place.  The work begins early, despite its location being close to the campers who are vacationing just up the hill overlooking the harbor.  The rush to shore up the harbor before the sea returns takes precedence over the needs of vacationers who only want to fish and relax by the shore. 
            The noise of the machines does not bother us.  We are up early each morning to greet the day and the sunrise, as if my internal alarm clock is telling me that something special is on the horizon and I need to be up to see what it is.  I have rarely had a need for an alarm clock to help me get up.  I can tell myself the time I need to get up and it usually happens right on schedule. 
            Joy can be found in the daily routine if we just take the time to notice it around us in our lives.  Certainly being away in a place of beauty of rest assists our emotional awareness to come alive but the same can be practiced even at home in our normal routine when we take the time to truly notice what is around us. 
                We are eating seafood nearly every day.  Today we ate fish twice, once as fish and chips for lunch when we ate in a nice park and then again this evening as we cooked fish at our cottage along with a few scallops, some eggplant, and a rice pilaf I made.  Seafood is plentiful here and relatively cheap when compared to our prices in Texas.  A pound of scallops costs 14 dollars but if you buy them in Austin or even Bastrop they cost almost twice that amount.  Even the cheapest frozen ones you can find in Austin cost 18 dollars.  So, we have been eating them a couple times a week at least.            
            There is a seafood company right here in Parker’s Cove.  It is called Nautical Seafood and they have a processing plant/warehouse facility just up the hill from our cottage.  They buy seafood from the boats that use the wharf and do a lot to take care of the harbor.  They have a small restaurant that sells chowder and lobster rolls too.  We intend to try both of those items before we leave here. 
            Everyone we have met so far here is very friendly.  People love to talk to us and when they find out we are from Texas they ask questions about Texas just like we ask questions about where they are from.  One woman who has never been to Texas told us that she thought Texas was one big flat prairie.  She was surprised to learn that Texas has a variety of landscapes including mountains and coastal areas. 
            Many people here have never been to Texas.  If they have been to the United States they have gone to Florida or New York or Massachusetts.  Few have traveled to the western United States.  When they learn that we drove all the way from Texas here they cannot believe it.  One woman said she could never ride that far. 
            Part of the joy and pleasure of travel is learning from other that you meet wherever you go.  Today we met a woman who told us about a place where you can hear Irish singers.  She is of Irish background and told us about a group who sings on Cape Breton Island and about the Irish lullabies and ballads they sing.  She asked us if we knew a certain song and when we said we did not she began singing it for us.  We were standing on the street and she began to sing, not caring about who may be listening.   She had a beautiful voice and when she stopped singing and I told her how beautiful her voice was, she laughed and told me that it was not and began to kid about singing on the street.  She told us the name of a place called Red Shoe Pub on Cape Breton where we could go to hear such songs being sung.  We enjoyed visiting with her very much and wanted it to go on. 

            We often learn from others about what they enjoy and share with them about what we enjoy doing.  We often find that we have a lot more in common than we realized.  

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