Sailing to Byzantium
The swimming areas are closing at the state parks, and my husband and I are trying like mad to fit in all of the swimming we can before they do. This was the last day the beaches were open at several of our favorites, and it was a difficult choice for us. Which place should we go to for our "last" swim there?
In the end, Bald Eagle State Park won out. And so we had our lovely swim, and the water was unusually nice, and still (relatively) clean and clear, for this time of year. There were wings over the park, in the form of all manner of butterflies; especially male monarchs, of which I saw many strong and fabulous specimens on the beach.
But before and after we swam, I had my camera in my hands, and I was documenting all of the things I saw. The butterflies, of course (hello, sweet sister!). And three little Mennonite girls with small yellow boats, adventuring among the waves in their dresses; then tossing themselves, wet and spent, upon the sand.
I spotted a single amazing tree on the other shore: one of the first to make The Change. It shone out like a great beacon, and I focused on it, among all of that endless green. I was happy to spot a pretty sailboat making its way into my shot, and it all seemed like the makings of a story to me.
The story was something about the ending of one thing, and the beginning of something else. About the drawing down of the green, and the lighting of the orange flames of hammered gold. And the trying to fit everything in before it all goes.
It felt wistful and beautiful and perfect and sad all at the same moment. So since my words cannot do it justice, here is a picture to tell the story of what it is like, when sailing to Byzantium.
There is also a Yeats poem by the same name, and in case you are interested in reading it, you may find that here.
My soundtrack song is for those two elder gents, the sailors on the boat of life. They do not agree that this is no country for old men. Here is their song: Jimmy Buffett, with Son of a Son of a Sailor.