A tribute to my friend Joe whose memory I keep always. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.
I am not superstitious by nature, but this lovely, simple symbol of my Irish heritage is never far from my side. In fact, I keep it tucked in a small zippered compartment of my purse. Made from Connemara marble, the Irish Worry Stone so smooth and cool to the touch, is reputed to keep worries at bay and bring a sense of comfort to those who hold it. My mother loved these worry stones and often brought them back to friends as souvenirs when she visited her homeland of Ireland. My close friend Joe, who was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 32 years of age was the recipient of one of my mother’s worry stones. When he died, I visited his apartment where his mother was staying temporarily. As we comforted each other with memories of her youngest son, she asked if she could show me something. Entering his bedroom she gestured toward his night table. On the corner closest to his bed, lay the worry stone. I like to think that it brought him comfort.
“I walked beside the evening sea and dreamed a dream that could not be; the waves that plunged along the shore said only: “Dreamer, dream no more!”
George William Curtis
Well, not quite the sea but an image of the Long Island sound at dusk had to do for this week’s challenge. There is something about the shoreline that has always instilled in me, a certain tranquility. This recent photo reflected that sort of ambience I always feel when near a body of water.
I spotted this abandoned boat yesterday morning, moored on a small creek in Westport, CT. A name displayed on the bow was carefully written in simple block letters…GLORIA. Captivating in its stillness with not a soul in sight, it instilled a feeling of both peace and melancholy. Returning home I researched to discover the boat was owned by a gentleman who lived his entire life in Westport and worked as an oyster fisherman aboard the vessel. The boat was both his work and home, when weather permitted. “Gloria” was the name of an old girlfriend who clearly left a mark on his heart. He passed away recently yet the barge remains, a testament to earlier days and a time long gone. This past Christmas, an unknown angel strung festive lights on the boat in memory of the late fisherman. It must have been a beautiful sight. I wonder if Gloria ever knew she was his muse?
“Winter is here, best time of year, come on along sing a skating song…”
One of my fondest childhood memories was ice-skating on a small rink my best friend’s dad built for us in her backyard. Round and round we would soar feeling the chill of the air on our cheeks. Not an iPhone or computer in sight. This year, to kick off the holiday season, I took my two sons to an ice rink near to us which overlooks the Long Island sound. They enjoyed two hours of skating until they could stand no more. Finally in physical defeat rather than want, they staggered off the ice with tired smiles and wobbly legs proclaiming “That was SO much fun…”
“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify by their own lonesome familiarity to this feeling.”