I have shed the dust of the desert and this evening am enjoying the bite of marine air as I wander the docks. I pass boats with names like Innisfree, Polaris and Equinox. Beautiful names that suggest navigation, or places and times that are markers in these men’s lives. Men from boats with similar names have told me they are only “home” when at sea. And I have known families where the tradition of fishing is passed down for generations. Their sons and daughters have said the same.
A breeze, kelpy and saline, raises a chop on the water and reminds me of raw oysters, sweet, cold and tasting of sea. I watch men in orange bibs off-load fish. Others are readying their boats. They talk about the catch, the season, where they have been and where they are headed. I consider that they are headed for watery points in liquid space. After dark, I will see them as lights winking far to the west.
I pass onto the beach and think about the ways this place marks my life. Most of us have an embedding of “place” in our emotional gyros. A point under a pole star; a place where we are finally “home” and feel we belong. So though my home is in Boise, tonight I have reached a place where I belong, sitting in the seagrass on a high dune listening to the ocean and watching the light deepen and ripen to dusk.