Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gloucester, MA, the Fishermen's Memorial

The Gloucester Fishermen's Memorial left us a little speechless. All the images I'd seen before showed it in crazy rain and whipped up waters, I was somewhat ill-prepared for visiting on such a picture perfect day. The birds were singing, the cherry blossoms rained petals down on us, the slight breeze on the water pushed the sailboats around lightheartedly; it felt so out of place to be reading about the documented 5000+ men lost at sea who had departed from this harbor over the centuries.

And yet, of course, the sea does what she wants and she can be heartless. This memorial was a poignant reminder of her devious ways. So maybe it was fitting that she show us her seductive side while we read with horror about her treachery.

The rocky coastline of the Atlantic, on a picture-perfect Spring day

A walk around town revealed what I had long suspected would be true. The buildings, doorways, street layout, it all feels like a sailor's handiwork, it's obvious to me that much of the architect's plans were actually brought to life by the same hands that built the ships. Boat parts are incorporated into the sidewalks, sculptures, windows, and doorways in town and it feels quite natural that way.

The doorways of Gloucester have personalities of their own, often exhibiting boat hardware as handles

We love it here on this beautiful Spring day.  As much as the sea, it's also the town itself that pulls you in. On a day like today it's easy to imagine buying a little place on the water and settling in, planting a cherry tree out front and chatting with the neighbors from a colorful Adirondack chair.  In fact, just North of town in Rockport there are dozens of new homes going in right on the beach doing just that. But I wonder about the wisdom in that. There are snow sticks on the fire extinguishers around here, and big snow plow blades left parked just outside of town, all of which give warning to some truly nasty weather at times.

We will not be seduced by Gloucester into settling down.
We will not... we will not... we will not!

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