Thursday, May 6, 2010

At the beach

Old Baldy, the oldest lighthouse in NC.  Not a working lighthouse, but still cool.
May and October are the best times to go to the beach, I think. It's not too hot yet, and it's before the kids get out from school, so it's relatively uncrowded. I'm on Bald Head Island, the southern barrier beach in NC, where Cape Fear is. To the east is the Atlantic, to the west (more or less) is the Cape Fear River. In between is a barrier island with a beach on one side and tidal marshes on the other. I like the marshes.

There are birds here. Big birds! Egrets, ibis, herons. There used to be a lot of clapper rails, but I haven't heard any in the last couple of years. I never saw one of them; they just kind of hung out in the reeds and made noise when you went by in a kayak.
Ibis Lake. No ibises (ibii?) here, but lots of egrets.
The vegetation looks a lot like my part of Texas. Texas is a big damn state, so it does NOT look like the vegetation out where Ricë is, which would be no damn vegetation. The only thing they have in profusion here that we don't in my part of TX are pine trees. The live oaks and palmettos and various palms all look familiar.

I think the air here is the most delicious air in the world. It's sweet and tangy. I ride around on a bike taking big gulps of it. Riding a bike here is good because it's mostly flat, the island, and almost anyone can ride. There's an old coaster bike in the garage that works mostly. One pedal is a little wonky - it's set in to the crankarm at an angle, so your knee moves in an ellipse as you pedal - but no one goes very fast here. On the island, only emergency services, Island services, and contractors can drive cars and trucks. The rest of us get around on electric golf carts and bikes and by foot! That's partly why the air is so heavenly, I do believe.
The view from the porch. The creek at high tide.
One of my sisters brought kayaks, small ones, so we've been able to take to the creek and paddle about and float. I love being on the water. I actually love paddling.

We're here to scatter my Dad's ashes. I know, it's illegal, but we're not letting a little thing like that stop us! We scattered some in the Atlantic, and dolphins came and swam offshore. The day before yesterday, it rained all day. Just before sunset, the clouds opened a gap up in the west, allowing the day's pent-up sunshine to flood through with it's warm red light, and turn the tops of the marsh reeds to a stunning red. 

We all ran to look and then saw the rainbow. No! Two rainbows, the inner one complete, starting on Middle Island across from us, and ending somewhere off Cape Fear in the Atlantic. I got some ashes and headed out in a kayak to a place in the creek where I could see the Village of Bald Head and Old Baldy, NC's oldest standing lighthouse (it's not the real lighthouse anymore for the ship channel; I think that's the Oak Island Light, but it's cool looking). I dribbled the ashes in the water, looking at the clouds, golden on the bottom, ragged and dark on the tops, the Village backlit in a wash of gold light. 

Dad would've loved it.


Patty said...

Your ceremony for your dad's ashes
was beautiful. And I know what you
mean about the beach air. I think something about the salty ocean enters and heals us.

Now if we can just heal what's been done to the Gulf...

An Li Na said...

Hi Wendy,
I'm glad you had beautiful scenery to share with your Dad. I think what you and your sisters have chosen to do is a beautiful way to remember and celebrate your dad.