The wind was off the bay as he headed along the path, a gentle ascent of summer now an icy encounter as he confronted the cold of winter. His age has slowed him down, his step is short and his breaths are long as slowly he moves forward.
Moving from the slick ice upon the path to the crunching snow along the side he moves with determination pressed against the wind. He has walked this walk before as a younger man, he was tall and straight his gait was strong. Now he is bent to the wind and his warm breath leaves the trail of a slow locomotive chugging along.
There at the top of the hill awaits his reward. It is the view he seeks, the memory of a warmer day and summer play on the waters of the marsh. The greens are now a golden brown, yet the sky and water seem so much the same. The winds of winter have sent the soaring osprey south, the marsh is quiet now.
Alas, can it be on this cold and windy day there are men upon the waters of the marsh? They are the hardy souls dependent on the marsh, dressed against the fury of the season; they bend and gather shellfish, their currency for life.
A scientist of sea seeks information among the reeds and muck. He works alone in silent dedication to his search of knowledge of the marsh. His time is spent with measurements and markers, his cold pursuit warmed by inner satisfaction.
Now the old man’s memories of a summer sunrise and warm sunshine are chilled by the ever present blast of winter. But on this day the old man is warmed by another force, today he is not alone; today he has the warmth of family as his son walks along his side. No winter wind, no icy slope can mar the memory of this day.
Words need not be shared; it is the time that will be cherished. It is the time that moves along as they descend along the path, for the old man time is short, for the son the path is long and time abundant.
The marsh is constantly changing and yet appears to be much the same. The seasons bring visitors and life; the tides provide ebb and flow, like our path through life a visit to the marsh provides time for reflection and solace. It is within the marsh we can find great beauty in a land of mire and muck, we can be challenged by the weather and we can find ourselves if we only take the time to look.