I do not put these images here hoping you will love them all; I put them here hoping they will reach you somehow.

Hike-2888 ferns

Bluff Point State Park, Groton, Conn.

The greens in this image of a rich bed of ferns under a seaside canopy remind me of the Lucinda Williams song I used in 2016 to mark the anniversary of the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Thus, while the image itself is clearly full of life and joy, there is a deep vein of sorrow and loss running through the earth below what we can see from where we stand. It is a confusion of tragedy and hope.

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Sept. 21, 1938, was the day the Hurricane of 1938 hit southern New England – including my grandparents’ home on the point that forms the main harbor of Woods Hole, Mass. (The family was safe at home in New York at the time.)

Their home was midway between Buzzards Bay and the harbor, at the eastern edge of what was until then a fresh water pond. The storm surge – estimated at 14 to 25 feet – filled the pond with salt water, and carried a rowboat through the windows on one side of the house and out the other. The blue waves that have been painted in the diving room for the nearly 80 years since then record the level the sea water reached in the storm.

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The E.E. Dickinson Co. of Essex, Conn., which dates back to 1866 – a year after the end of The Civil War – was run by Dickinson family members until the 1980s. Three of them were E.E. Dickinson, two of them simply called “E.E. 1” and “E.E. 2.” Their former plant has more recently been turned to other uses, but the product that made the company famous – witch hazel – is still in production. (The astringent, made from a North American shrub, has many uses, including soothing skin irritations.)  This barrel is on display in the cooperage at Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea, in the coastal village of Mystic, Conn.

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Little is more soothing than an afternoon collecting shells and polished glass on a quiet beach. This one is in West Haven, Conn.

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