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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Our Eyes Are Still Adjusting

We are each other's compass. Image from
We planned to leave at typical Hurley fashion [not Fig's, but H.'s and mine], we didn't have the car packed and humming until nearly 1 P.M.

H. loves to bring everything from the mustard to the OJ from our fridge at home to our fridge on the Cape. He's frugal that way, and we now know how to transport it all safely. I used to think he was crazy, but now I really like having everything with us when we arrive, even the petite tomatoes from our garden. Also, his guitar, music binder, pocket star guidebook, bike helmets, and more. Ironically, though, he forgot his cell phone this time. Go figure.

But here we are, finally, where the air is fresh and beautiful and the sky is one big expanse of possibilities and hope.

We made a beeline for the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis. The box office closes at 6 and we arrived at 5:51. H. got tickets for a concert for our friend Michael's 50th birthday. We're taking Michael and Anne to hear an Irish band called the Saw Doctors on Thursday night--our Mernin friends have a house rental on the Cape this week with their family!

My writing may be mellowed at the moment--I had a very nice, very smooth Amaretto Sour at Stewart's tonight while we were waiting for a table, and H. had his beachy favorite, a Bloody Mary. Then, we three shared a huge iceberg wedge with local blue cheese. H. had a bowl of clam chowder; I had fried oysters; and Figgy had salmon with fresh veggies and rice.

But dessert! A walk to the bridge I love on the tar path between Coast Guard Beach and the Salt Pond Visitor Center. Figgy was too cold, and waited in the car. H. and I found our way in the pitch-dark. I leaned on him for steady footing.

Our eyes are still adjusting to the dark, H. said as we minced down the sloping path, gaining confidence with every step. His comment was a fitting metaphor for the last 17 months we've been through, with the tree falling on our house and uprooting our life, Dad weakening and dying, Figgy's tough battle with a health problem.

We stopped at the weather-worn bridge rails and looked up from the path, the caution it required, the fumbling over strange terrain. Our eyes adjusted, and when they did, we could make out shifting clouds, cozy lamplight in windows in the distance, a little scampering bunny. And then: the stars. If I've learned anything over the last 17 months, it's that our eyes are capable of adjusting to the dark, but that doesn't mean we still won't see shots of beauty and brightness, perhaps even clearer for the fact that they have to shine so strong to show up against the velvety depths of a night sky. I won't take things for granted anymore--not Figgy's smile or hugs, not another mother's kindness to me, not the feel of H.'s fleece jacket. And certainly not the stars.

In the end, we find our way together on an unfamiliar road. We are each other's compass, pointing home to the safety of what we know and love.

I better head back to the house now! Promised Figgy I'd watch Pretty Woman with her--and she's leaving for a few days on Martha's Vineyard with her friend from Montclair next week while we're here.

Good night.

  1. Centered and calm.
  2. Brought ice waters, sandwiches and little slices of Lemon Yogurt Cake for car.


  1. Wow, wow, wow. More stunning writing. Have a great vacation up there, Alice!

  2. Hi Eileen..thank you for reading a writer, you know too that our work isn't quite valid until at least another set of eyes has read it...or, is that true? same for a painter, an artist? but then, Emily Dickinson hid most of her work in her is your family? your writing? love alice