For a few moments over these couple of weeks, I had let my mind project "what if" scenarios: What if she has cancer? What if I lose her? And I actually wondered whether her drinking for so many years would now be manifesting itself in serious health issues. Thankfully, I didn't dwell on any of that for long. I know that whatever happens, we will deal with it. And that it is much better for me to simply live in the day and not concoct something that has not happened.
We both have excellent medical care. We get lots of exercise, staying mentally and physically active. I think that having ones good health is a precious thing. In fact, that is one of the reasons that I never smoked or drank much--I wanted to keep myself in good physical and mental condition. I don't focus on the aches and pains that happen from sailing, gardening, and a lot of other physical activity that I do. Instead I keep the muscles going. I plan to eek as much out of life as I can by being physically fit.
Today, I am getting an old aluminum john boat ready for a trip to Cape Romain Lighthouse tomorrow. We will be using the john boat, Oardacity, as a tender for the sailboat. I have rebuilt the transom and today will put a block of styrofoam floatation under each seat.
Our plan is to go up the ICW as far as we can tomorrow, anchor for the night and then proceed the rest of the way to a deep creek near McClellanville where we will anchor. The ICW or "ditch" as it is unaffectionately known is shallow and not really suited for the sailboat whose draft is fairly deep. I will try not to mud bog her.
Once we get to Five Fathom creek, we can then take the john boat and meander through the creeks to get to Cape Romain Light on Saturday where an old fellow we know will be opening it up. He was born at the lighthouse, and Saturday is his birthday.
I am looking forward to taking lots of photos, touring the old lighthouse, and hopefully hearing some stories about what it was like to grow up there. This fellow will be celebrating 80 years on Saturday. His health is not good and his temperament even worse. But it is a chance to capture a piece of this Lowcountry landscape that I so love. And a chance to hear some stories of what it was like to be a kid growing up with the birds and the water and marsh as your entertainment. I am reminded of one of my favorite poems:
It was my thirtieth year to heaven Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood And the mussel pooled and the heron Priested shore The morning beckon With water praying and call of seagull and rook And the knock of sailing boats on the webbed wall Myself to set foot That second In the still sleeping town and set forth. My birthday began with the water- Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name Above the farms and the white horses And I rose In a rainy autumn And walked abroad in shower of all my days High tide and the heron dived when I took the road Over the border And the gates Of the town closed as the town awoke. A springful of larks in a rolling Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling Blackbirds and the sun of October Summery On the hill's shoulder, Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly Come in the morning where I wandered and listened To the rain wringing Wind blow cold In the wood faraway under me. Pale rain over the dwindling harbour And over the sea wet church the size of a snail With its horns through mist and the castle Brown as owls But all the gardens Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud. There could I marvel My birthday Away but the weather turned around. It turned away from the blithe country And down the other air and the blue altered sky Streamed again a wonder of summer With apples Pears and red currants And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother Through the parables Of sunlight And the legends of the green chapels And the twice told fields of infancy That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine. These were the woods the river and the sea Where a boy In the listening Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide. And the mystery Sang alive Still in the water and singing birds. And there could I marvel my birthday Away but the weather turned around. And the true Joy of the long dead child sang burning In the sun. It was my thirtieth Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon Though the town below lay leaved with October blood. O may my heart's truth Still be sung On this high hill in a year's turning.
"Poem in October" by Dylan Thomas