Doug Bruns

Forty degrees at seven o’clock

In Happiness on October 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm

East End Beach, Portland, Maine

It’s Sunday and morning, my favorite time of the day (“light so low upon the Earth…Oh, the woods and the meadows…” wrote Tennyson). It’s chilly, forty degrees, and Maggie and I stretch out our walk and head down the Prom, abreast of the water, as the sun breaks through the clouds.

There are two German Shepherds on the beach and a woman bundled up in sweats. I can see the panting dog’s breath. The woman looks over one shoulder, then the other, reaches down and grabs her sweat shirt and pulls it up and over her head. She steps out of her pants and reveals a modest one-piece swim suit. The dogs play and she jogs into the water and dives. I watch. She surfaces.

“How’s the water?” I ask.
“Great,” she replies, “warmer than the air. Come’on in.”

I decline.

She continues–mind you, the sun is breaking through the clouds–“It’s like a self- baptism,” she says.

Baptism aside, the morning is just fine, thank you very much, from the beach.

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  1. Self-baptism! Just the inspiration I needed. I will try to match this hearty Maine spirit as I plunge into the icy August water.

  2. Exquisite morning. Sounded lovely. And the descriptions was wonderful.

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