Granite Bay

stones 2 003

The summer sun is long gone and with it, one might think, the lure of the shore.  But though I will admit to being clearly partial to the warmth of the sun, I cannot deny the stark, cold winter attraction of New England’s rocky shores and its cobble beaches.

Wave-battered rocky shores are common throughout this northern area of the continent, where high-energy waves grind away at ancient bedrock and glacial deposits, leaving a picturesque mix of granite outcroppings, marine sediment bluffs and cobble-filled nooks and crannies along the ragged beach. Each has its own attraction, but it is the endlessly varied stones, each one smoothed, shaped, patterned and polished, that offer delight to the off-season beachcomber.

I pick them up and pocket them, unable to resist their stories. True, I do not really know from whence they came or how this place became their latest stop on a journey propelled by the winds and the tides. I do know that they are calming, filled with resting energy, timeless representations of permanence and activity both, witnesses of storms and life renewed.

I bring them home and try to match them with the images I find in Beach Stones, written by Margaret Caruthers, photographed by Josie Iselin. I cannot match them. No two stones are their equal. So  instead, I write about them.

Granite Bay

It’s clear this place

is sacred. As if east

winds and early frost

once carved the softer

parts of these granite walls

into fissures meant simply

for safekeeping. As if those

who gathered here knew

it was a lasting space, where

life, surging forth, would

recede through veins of quartz

into an ageless bank of time.

The island birds, I believe,

especially love this spot—

I’ve heard their rollicking

call as they wheel overhead,

eyes pinned to the minnow’s

shine, littering the tide-

washed rocks, over

and over again, one

hundred times a day,

with shattered skins

of mottled crabs and clams.

I love it, too—walking

old shores refurbished by time,

feeling life’s forces at work, there

in the same crevices where those

before us left them.

Poem: Granite Bay, by Mary O’Connor, (c) 2007, Dreams of a Wingless Child


2 thoughts on “Granite Bay

  1. Mary — I love this about the cobble stones. Just recently I incorporated some small pebbles into one of my paintings. Here’s a picture.

    Love, Jane. Sent from my iPad

    Like

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