Point Wilson just after dawn: it’s oddly warm and still on the bay, while gulls wake the day.
The ferry glides off into the fog, and the sun slices through clouds and shimmers the silver waters. Then cotton batting separates to reveal blue quilted sky. Comic crows scavenge for breakfast in the tide’s leavings, and the rising sun stripes the pewter bay with bands of gold. The night’s work is over for the lighthouse, but it sends its red-then-white beacon across the waters anyway, as the curve of this beach holds me in its embrace. I am safe here, and my heart opens to the wholeness of the day. Circling gulls make a ruckus near the dock and a heron adds her voice to the gentle touch of the bay upon the sand and upon my soul.
Some alchemy with fog and light and water mixes green rays of sunshine slanting down to Whidbey Island. A few gulls prefer the bay to perching on the dock, and they bob up and down with the subtle push of the tide. The sun flirts with me, now gilding my face and arms, then darting back behind a dense cloud. Mooring buoys sit empty; most wandering sailors have gone for the season. The woods behind me release their night scents—the over-ripe berries and decaying leaves—that unmistakable pungent perfume of autumn.
Marrowstone Island emerges from the fog, its serrated profile a celebration of its tree line. Bell buoys are silent; the fog is subtle and high and torn apart enough to sustain the quiet morning. A throaty heron call spooks the gulls and they all fly off at once into the sun. A few wisps of fog do cling to the bluffs near Chetzemoka Park, while songbirds sing in the day from big leaf maples on the hill.
This is my very own beach this morning, as I sit leaning against a log and dig my feet into the sand. The remaining clouds have rearranged themselves into orderly pleats of gray, navy blue, pale gold and pure cerulean. The heron finally shows herself, swooping noisily out from under the dock and gliding majestically out over the bay.
A bold crow hops along the sand right in front of my dog and I. He eyeballs me with first one eye then the other, hoping for a handout. But I am empty-handed today, feeding only on this son et lumiere.
A tugboat tows a barge across the horizon as the ferry reemerges on one of her many round trips from Keystone to Port Townsend. I love this sort of morning even more than an all-out clear-sky day. The clouds push and play with the light and create an ever-changing drama. Just now we are encircled by a half dozen pushy crows who think perhaps I have underestimated their hunger and/or their winsomeness. They must know I am a kindred spirit, a fellow crow at heart. I must remember to bring them offerings next time.
As another tug and barge duo pass by in the shipping lanes near the point, their impact sends ripples of small waves onshore. I can see the tide is coming in as rafts of shiny brown kelp float in from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The ferry crosses through a brilliant stream of sunlight and momentarily vanishes in the powerful glare. As she returns to port, so must I.
It’s a Friday. Another day in paradise.
• Have you been up to watch the dawn lately?
• Do you make enough quiet time for yourself?
• Have you fed a bird recently?
• Have you fed your soul lately?
I’d love to hear about your quiet mornings. Please share below.