Friday, May 11, 2007

Beaches and Breaches


Cape Cod is a fragile flexed arm of land; my town, Chatham is on the tip of the elbow, jutting into the beautiful North Atlantic Ocean.
We are prone to the beatings of storms called nor’easters which in a matter of hours can change our entire shoreline. There is a beautiful barrier beach (North Beach) along our coast which serves as a buffer from these storms and is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore (a project of John F Kennedy which saved this vast area of beautiful dunes, beaches, and forests from ever being developed and to be enjoyed by everyone). There are some camps or cottages there, accessed by 4-wheel drive and treasured by their owners. On April 22 the barrier beach was breached by huge surf and in a matter of hours a large protective dune was gone, creating an island of what remains of the beach….there are about 10 camps now on the island and the only access is by small boat from the mainland.
The power of the ocean never ceases to amaze me.
At this point, a few weeks later, it looks like the breach will not close. This now leaves many homes and beaches very vulnerable to erosion and loss. This is the process of living on these constantly shifting sands.
It reminds me of life, mine especially, when, at any given moment we can become so vulnerable, and so threatened by something (someone) whom (that) we love, leaving us an island. Then we seek daily solace in (the ocean). It happened to me several years ago. Still not sure I will ever recover, but like beautiful Cape Cod we adapt, go on and the shock lessens. Every day, I go to look at my beloved ocean; there is new perspective as I watch the breach in North Beach. Life is beautiful!