Tuesday, March 21, 2023

MendoMoments: The Pacific Transforms as Days Shorten and Shadows Grow

The brooding Pacific off of the Mendocino County Coast [Photograph by Gail Jackson]

Nature has a way of reminding you of change. Of impermanence. Of the ever-shifting vistas of our lives.

Gail Jackson, an award-winning Mendocino County coastal photographer who has been recognized by the Audubon Society for her bird photography, caught a glimpse of the Earth’s flux off the Southern Mendocino County Coast last month.

The Pacific Ocean’s pearlescent blue had given way to slate gray. The horizon line was a taut wire. The fog rose and hovered with a delicate gloom. A hint of muted blue separated the fog from a layer of stratus that had taken on a brackish hue.

Sights such as the one Jackson captured that day are not often chosen for brochures or flashy marketing campaigns.

These sorts of sights stir within us a nameless but familiar longing and the hope that we can be brave and face the uncertain world we inhabit.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, an American poet who lived from 1807-1888, experienced in his lifetime the country’s Westward Expansion, the heartbreak of him and his wife losing a child to a miscarriage, the North and the South battle it out for the future of the United States, and the quiet joy of later raising six children. He wrote of the longing that exudes from a darkened sea.

And now, for your consideration, Longfellow’s poem “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls”:

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

MendoMoments, is dedicated to showcasing the land, animals, and people that make up Mendocino County. All Mendocino County residents and visitors are invited to participate. Send photographs to matthewplafever@gmail.com including a description of what your photograph depicts, where it was taken, and any other important details.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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