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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Champagne Air & the Girl on the Bridge

This is a quietly gorgeous book [copyright 1947] about the Cape's natural beauty.
Check this link on amazon. Small, small world--the author
was the great uncle of a nice neighbor of ours in Montclair, and our neighbor
and his young family still visit the old Farm House.

Today I pedaled on the old 1960s Raleigh bike with the basket to the bridge I love, behind the former Coast Guard Station at Coast Guard Beach. I guess it's informally known as the bike trail bridge.

When you lean over the bridge, you breathe in the smells of Nauset Marsh. You hear birds and gently lapping water. You see swaying sea grass against a wide open sky, and mud so soft that you want to squish your toes in it. But this is protected marshland--part and parcel of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Only occasional kayaks paddle quietly through, but you can't jump down off the bridge and start exploring here. The Eastham air you drink in is what author Wyman Richardson [see above] called sparkling, clean, clear, pure, champagne-like.

Look, I see a crab, I heard a little girl in an aqua terrycloth Gap dress say today. And another one!

She was three, almost four and looking down at the muck from the bridge. The small green crabs were hard to see, but the little girl had a keen eye, and, you could tell, a love of life and a heart for nature. She was so cute. Her mother picked her up and squished her cheek against hers. The mother had sewn colorful buttons on the bodice of the aqua terry dress--one shaped like a zebra, one with an angel, and called it the button dress.

Where's a crab? asks the little girl's grandfather, looking over the rails. Oh, there! Boy, she is really smart. Isn't that something? Can you imagine? he says proudly to his daughter, the girl's mother. He is wearing a turquoise cotton zipper jacket and cotton khaki pants.

That was my Figgy, and that was my Dad, 12 years ago. The first has grown up, and the second has flown away. When I looked out over the muck today, I smiled a little and I cried a little. I miss the tiny but mighty girl and the old man. But the only thing certain about life, I've learned, is that it changes.

Good night.

  1. Tried hard to communicate clearly, calmly and confidently about a hot-button issue.
  2. Rode my bike to the bridge I love, where I had time to breathe deep and mourn. And some of the hills on the way back were really hard, so I'm proud I pedaled through it.
  3. Healthy lunch--even if it was at 4 P.M.
  4. Shampooed and conditioned.
  5. Read, napped.
  6. Cooked dinner for our friends tonight.


  1. Hi Alice. What a nice memory about little Fig and Uncle J. And what a calm and beautiful place the bridge sounds like. I hope you are all enjoying your well-deserved vacation... it's been quite a year. Look forward. (I am needing to remind myself of this too often lately. I have to find my own peaceful place to go, too.) Love to all, Linda

  2. Hi Lin. thank you for the note. i will phone soon. and yes, i heard a mom on bike path say to her daughter, "Look where you're going, not where you've been." nice, right? love al