Spring and Boats

Today was the first real day of spring. Today is April 3, and I know that my calendar would tell you that spring’s been here for two weeks. But I know better, as does all of New England. I knew spring was here as soon as I woke up this morning. It was before six o’clock and there was a dim light on the eastern horizon. My schnauzer, Porter, pressed me to stop gazing out the window and let him outside to do his morning rounds — mostly they consist of him dutifully circling the shed, under which lives a family of rabbits who have taunted him for years. He’s never caught one, but he’s given chase many times, and my wife and I wonder if he’s only playing with them. I honestly don’t know if my genteel, couch-loving animal would know what to do with a rabbit if he caught one.

When I let him out, I heard the faint song of a bird through the still trees and houses surrounding me. It was slightly too cold to stand outside in my robe, but this only added to the sublimity of spring’s approach. Many in the Northeast complain and joke that the seasons go from summer to autumn to winter to late winter and finally back to summer, albeit with a weeklong detour through a somewhat spring-like transition. I disagree. The early morning is the best barometer of changing seasons, and a frozen morning lit dimly by the rising sun and narrated by birdsong is proof that spring is in the air.

I imagine that a commute from any place connected to another by boat is best done by sea

I saw a picture later this afternoon on social media taken by an old friend. It was the same sunrise I saw from my kitchen, but it was from a boat on the Boston harbor. She lives in a place where a ferry is the best way to commute to Boston — but I imagine that a commute from any place connected to another by boat is best done by sea, no matter what other options exist. Of course, I only imagine this. My commute is by a wooded road, which is nice, but you know what they say about the grass being greener. Or, at least, what I say about it.

Springtime and autumn have the same effect on me; they send me dream-flying through futures filled with situations that my present lacks. I love spring and autumn. The sea has always been my aspiration, and as the years pass, I grow both more desperate and more resolute that I belong somewhere on the sea. My old friend’s photo reminded me of that today. I want a specific kind of relationship to the sea; I don’t want to be fair weather friends, but rather to grow in a spirit of reliance and mutuality. I want to be frightened by her anger and soothed by her calm, and to share small moments with her, like the moment my friend shared with her this morning.

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