Last Day of Vacation

It is my last full day at home, and I have come to the Canal for one last look. I have taken several pictures with my phone, sometimes needing to point, shoot and hope, because the glaring of the sun obliterates any view on my phone screen, and I am no photographer. When I think I have taken as many of these “seeing, yet not seeing” pictures as I should, I tell myself that it is time to go, gas up my car, work my way through my vacation rental gathering and packing anything I won’t need in the morning and prepare for the trip home.

Picture of the Cape Cod Canal taken at the Herring Run Recreation Area, facing the Sagamore Bridge. Clear sky, blue water, green grass
Herring Run Recreation Area Just above the Sagamore Bridge

It is time to be efficient and mature and say good-bye to the Canal and leave, but something catches my eye and it freezes my feet to the ground. So, I return to my car to retrieve my notebook and find a place to sit. The wind seems to swirl the water a bit, but there are no waves. I learned that this is caused by the current and not the wind. They swirling circles are eddies, pulling in the opposite direction of the current. None the less, the water passes, moving east to Sandwich at a fair clip. Yet, the movement of the water is smooth and reflective like glass. The sun shines on the water and it shimmers in places. The current moves the water along, as if to say to the water, “move along, there is nothing to see here.”

There are many eddies of different sizes and I wonder if I would stare at them long enough if a fish will push through the water or if I tried to focus on one eddy, how long I could keep it in view. Occasionally a bird, a Canada Goose maybe, will sweep down across the water as though it were coming in for a landing but not quite touching it, looking for food, I imagine. Then, as quickly as it arrived, it takes off again. By now, the eddies that passed by my spot are probably at the Sagamore Bridge on their way out to sea.

Clouds reflecting in the water of the Cape Cod Canal, stones along the water's edge.
A beautiful clear October Day at the Cape Cod Canal

I want to take a few more pictures or buy them. I want pictures of the Railroad Bridge in Buzzards Bay and the Bourne Bridge and the Sagamore Bridge that cross the canal, taking countless visitors to Cape Cod. The bridges were both built between 1933-1935 and are some of the most familiar landmarks of my childhood. Seeing them for the first time makes me draw in my breath. I want pictures of my childhood homes too, but there is not enough wall space in my home, so I will have to carefully catalog these sights and store them in my heart.

picture of a sail boat on the canal, a square, wooden picnic table and the fence along the park.
My last look before leaving the Canal

Perhaps what I long for most of all is a video of this gracefully moving water that I can play it over-and-over again. There are some wonderful pictures posted on Facebook taken by good photographers with expensive equipment and daring shots. Colorful sunrises and sunsets, and nighttime pictures of the Railroad Bridge. I admire them and am grateful that a friend has shared them with me in my newsfeed. But this is the view right here, the blue glass water, the sun shining on the canal making the water shimmer, the blue sky and white clouds, the gentle breeze and the persistent current.

This is the picture that I want. The sound of the traffic on the road behind me cannot tarnish the feel of the breeze and this sight on my being. Sitting here, I think I understand how Robert Frost might have felt when he wrote “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” I do not want to go. But home, family and work beckon; so I grow up, gather my things, including a perfect half of a mussel shell and leave behind a tear.

Not holding back the tide,


Published by msomerville2014

About: Michele Somerville is a wife, mother, stepmother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend. She lives with her husband and their dog Sheba. Sheba is their fourth rescue dog in 30 years. She is a retired ordained United Methodist Elder and serves two churches part-time in North Central Pennsylvania. She obtained her Bachelors’ Degree in 1999 from Mansfield University and her Master of Divinity in 2004 and Doctor of Ministry in 2016, both from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York. My Doctor of Ministry Thesis was:” Prophetic Words of Grace: Biblical Storytelling in the Local Church.” Michele began writing and performing character monologues for worship in 2008. She began by asking the question about nameless characters in the Bible, “What would they say if they could speak for themselves?” and then using her theological education and experience of the human condition to attempt an answer that is both academic and creative. Much of what you will read here are memories from growing up in a tourist town, in a bar, in the 1960’s, shaggy dog stories about our rescue dogs, life in a small town, and stories of faith and hope. Throughout her life she has lived in many states, including small towns, large towns and cities. She lived in Rota, Spain, for nine challenging months. Despite all the places she have lived since moving away from home in 1970,Michele is at the heart of all things Jack and Maggie’s daughter, and a beach girl from Onset, Massachusetts.

15 thoughts on “Last Day of Vacation

  1. What a beautiful reflective piece. You have really shared your perspective of being in the moment in a beautiful place which I think speaks to the longing of staying, not leaving, in all of us. I loved your parting words, “leave a tear … not holding back the tide.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Michele, what a lovely piece. I could feel that I was sitting with you watching the eddies as I read through your post. There is something calming about water. I live near the ocean and can watch the waves for hours which can be mesmerizing. Thank you for sharing your photos and experience and reminding us that sometimes we just need to stop and experience the moment. #MLSTL


  3. Thank you Sue. I am not much of a photographer, but I got some great pictures with my phone. As I said in that I really had to point, shoot and hope, because of the glare on my screen.


  4. What a restful and serene spot Michele – I can see why you were so reluctant to leave it and return to all the hurly burly of life. I felt calm just looking at your photos – and you did an excellent job of capturing the moment.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊


  5. Hi Michelle, what a beautiful reflection of a vacation in a special place. I have always wanted to visit Cape Cod. I love your last picture the best, the one with the little sailboat. I love watching sailboats and they always make me wistful for the water. Water is so mesmerizing, isn’t it? You will enjoy your memoires of this place.


    1. Thank you very much. At some point soon I plan to get a canvas print of that picture and hoping to get back for another week, but grateful beyond words for the opportunity. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and comment.


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