Thursday, September 29, 2016


For me, Shangri-La occupies a three-to-four mile radius centered on Campground Beach in North Eastham, MA.  A part of me remains there, all year round.  I sometimes forget I'm not whole, until I step to the top of the beach stairs and run into myself, like an old friend.  Hey!  there you are!  Damn, I've missed you.

I spent my childhood summers there, with the freedom to roam the neighborhood, the dunes and the beach all day long.  When I learned to sail (and weighed enough to upright the boat by myself) I could take the sunfish anywhere in the bay (I even made it around the Target Ship while it was mostly intact).  It was like flying.  I spent my college summers working on the Cape; the afternoons were still mine, filled with reading, bicycling and sailing wherever I wanted.  I spent my evenings cooking dinner, baking goodies while listening to stories from my grandmother and vintage radio shows.

High tide, low tide - so much to explore
Perfection.  Magic.  Heaven.

Nowadays, trips to the Cape tend to be bittersweet.  Being there is similar to visiting Kripalu:  it's healing.  I spend my days doing as I wish - long walks on the beach, biking, hiking, sitting in the yard and enjoying the weather, reading, writing.  I watch sunsets over the bay.  I wrote most of this post my last evening there, listening to the crickets, leaves rustling in the breeze and the crashing of waves on the shore.  Hearing nothing else.

But it's so brief.  I used to reside there for six to twelve weeks a year.  Now I'm lucky if I get six days.  I was anxious and depressed as I headed down for this year's Chick Weekend.  Odd emotions, considering I was to spend time with friends and a few days for myself.  I think I was afraid of being too tired to do as I pleased and knowing I would have to leave all too soon.  Those feelings evaporated as I arrived at the cottage - they're no match to the pleasure of seeing the old homestead.  Still, it was difficult to leave that Wednesday, even knowing I had guinea pigs in desperate need of snuggles and affection waiting for me at home.

I promised myself as I packed the car:  I'll be back next year, if not sooner.

That little piece of me will be there, awaiting my return.


  1. OH! How beautifully written. I felt it, the peace of growing up with this place. Now that I've been to the Cape, I understand the healing effect. I felt it too, and we were set to come back this week til the weather turned ugly here. We had to stay in case the power went off and a generator was needed to run the sump pump. I am sad not to be there at the cape right now. LeeAnna

  2. You've really captured a feeling. Or feelings. :)


I enjoy reading your comments and I strive to reply by email (if you're not set to no-reply).