From 7 acres on a backroad in the Green Mountains—north to the great sea of Lake Champlain in the big city of Burlington—south to the Berkshires in a the middle of snowstorm—and finally across the mighty Hudson and down to Exit Zero on the GSP at the southernmost tip of the Garden State where I was born.
There she is coming to meet me at the ferry in Lewes, Delaware, waving as I come down the stairs through the terminal.
When I was a girl, foot passengers walked right across the boat ramp as I did on the inaugural crossing in 1964 (in my grandmother’s arms.)
The Ferry & I turned 50 a handful of years back and now we’re headed toward 55.
I miss the smell of the old wood pilings and the faded hues of the old ships, but some things haven’t changed–like the way the Captain’s horn startles me and how a loved ones wave quickens inside and how the wind on my face at the bow welcomes me home as the world recedes from view.
I’m not one to find a loved one in a cemetery but sometimes my car goes there anyway rembering a well-worn path And once there my heart spills open so that I can love more fiercely again.
And still, I rise toward the sea and wait as morning painstakingly breaks over the Atlantic, seeping like lava through a dark bank of clouds that stretches north and south across the horizon.
This is what it is to stand in the center of one’s pain, grieving what has been lost and what has been taken and what may never be.
Will I turn away in the bitter winds or will I remain still until the orange light unfurls beneath the darkness, reaching like a hand across the icy waters toward the shore.
“Stay,” she says, and in so doing, the light now golden, rises above the illusion of a hardened sky meeting all that has been hardened inside.