Clams in Rhode Island

clamming in Rhode Island.jpgClamming in R I

 

It was a beautiful end of summer day.  Kathy has the Canadian Canoe with a 9.9 engine on the back.  We can row or paddle, or for long runs, Kathy uses the engine. The shallow brackish ponds curve around a landscape of the Atlantic on one side and the shoreline of southern Rhode Island on the other side.  The image above depicts our family group raking for clams

The 1st of October brings my mind into the new season.  Though we spent the afternoon in the water, it was really not warm enough for old bones to enjoy a swim.  Though each of us were so adapted to New England, I am sure we might have had we known the day would turn out as warm as it did.  My face browned with the passing of the day.

The southern migration of the popular tree swallow was in full swing and they were, we were told, on their way to Essex Cn where they converge to finish their way to the southern destination.  In New England, we understand snow-birds differently than the popular version which is to fly, drive and even train to some parts of Florida.  These birds were swirling and feeding off the pond all around us.  A flock of cormorants also converging were mingling with sea-gulls as we canoe around the ponds and marshes of Ninigret. Native American influence is fading but still visible when you look.

We brought in enough shellfish to have appetizers with dinner, a simple Sunday evening supper as was the custom in Canadian families.

Autumn and aging are at my front door.  At first, I had to adapt to the idea, then I realized the adaptations are transitions that require a new kind of deliberate intent.  Clamming on a bright, sunny, autumn day with folks you love and trust is a great source of spiritual healing.  I am talking about the kind of healing that comes from inhaling the rays of sun, merged with the aroma of the tides and the beauty of the colors the light provides.

Some days, with a bit of luck and a dose of determination, gratitude is in the air.

Bending Birches: One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

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Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,   55
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Robert Frost does justice to life in new england.  It is such a wonderful place to live in October.  Well, that is if you enjoy nature, some mud on your feet and branches scratching against your face.  A walk through new england woods at this time of the year bring back all that is good about memories.  And like Robert Frost suggest in this poem, it would be nice to leave this world, as long as he knew he would be sent back.  But to go and to never return.  Well, like most of us he wished to postpone that as long as he can.

October is a month of beautiful transition.  As the leaves begin to fall and the winds chills against the cottages, you can begin to see light smoke swirling from the roof tops in early evening.  The scent of autumn returns a moist earthiness to the air.  The sun does not warm as it did in August.  The air chills fast and mornings are crispy.

It is right about the time when we will get our first frost.  Till now a lot of green still runs through the landscape and the red and the yellows pop when the sun shines. But, soon a kind of russet will take over and guide us gently to the crispy brown oak leaves of November.

But while it is still October, I gladly walk in the autumn woods.  They help me to contemplate the consciousness I hold so dear.  They help me to remember that my Canadian memories are windows to my soul.

WHEN I see birches bend to left and right
Across the line of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

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