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Elemental Things October 6, 2012

Filed under: The Natural World — Karen Shafer @ 1:32 pm

Saturday, October 6, 2012, Cape Cod

Elemental Things


“My house completed, and tried and not found wanting by a first Cape Cod year, I went there to spend a fortnight in September.  The fortnight ending, I lingered on, and as the year lengthened into autumn, the beauty and mystery of this earth and outer sea so possessed and held me that I could not go.  The world today is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot.  In my world of beach and dune, these elemental presences lived and had their being, and under their arch there moved an incomparable pageant of nature and the year.  The flux and reflux of ocean, the incomings of waves, the gatherings of birds, the pilgrimages of the peoples of the sea, winter and storm, the splendour of autumn and the holiness of spring — all these were part of the great beach.  The longer I stayed, the more eager was I to know this coast and to share its mysterious and elemental life;  I found myself free to do so, I had no fear of being alone, I had something of a field naturalist’s inclination; presently I made up my mind to remain and try living for a year on Eastham Beach.”


                            ~~ Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year on the Great Beach of Cape Cod (1928)