Final Trip, First Sails. Life in a Harbor Town.
The juxtaposition of beginnings and endings and excitement and sorrow, struck me profoundly yesterday morning as I stood, torn, between two very different scenes unfolding around me in complete (and utterly opposite) unison.
T-Wharf, Rockport….8:00 a.m.
To my right (starboard), eager and bouncing junior yacht club members worked busily preparing their sailboats for transport to their very first regatta. Up the ramp. Like a little hive of worker bees they happily grabbed their sails, tillers, centerboards, and optis and helped sailing instructors and parents load up their boats for transport to Manchester Yacht Club. They were clearly excited, yet keenly aware that the air was thick and heavy. Something looming. Among them, my Thatcher. I was trying to be present for him. Water, snacks, suntan lotion, life jacket. Take a moment….say a little prayer. Opti on my roof, ratchet straps tightened, loose ends wrapped…ready to go. Take a moment….say a little prayer. A circus of children ready for a new beginning. A couple of summers’ worth of hard work culminating. Noise, chatter, laughs…happy. Take a moment…say a little prayer.
To my left (port), ready…prepared for action…. First responders, emergency personnel. Four police cars, three ambulances, Harbormasters, and more. As we were loading sailboats on…to the left, stretchers, medical bags, life saving equipment was being taken off. Down the ramp. T Wharf closed….no further entry. An accident on the water. Take a moment…say a little prayer. Sirens, lights, a choreographed dance of professionals ready to help…and save. No happy frenzy….instead, standing alert and poised for action. Take a moment….say a little prayer. Waiting, watching the entrance to the harbor….for the victim to arrive. Rescue boat, Harbormaster, lights….closer, closer, closer… arrived. Take a moment….say a little prayer.
In the end, one seasoned fisherman had just taken his last trip. Simultaneously, six new sailors were off to their first race. Rockport. Life on the water. Beginnings and endings….excitement and sorrow. Starting whistle, final alarm.
Take a moment….say a little prayer.