I love this memory.
Artwork by Bruce Zboray www.bruce-zboray.artistwebsites.com
The children were small, our boy 5 and our girl 8. We went to Newport, Rhode Island for a day. The highlight of the trip was the Cliff Walk.
It’s a stone pathway in back of the mansions about a mile long.
On one side are the wide-open backyards of the mansions. You walk the pathway so that the lawns are at eye-level, how a puppy or very small child would see the place – thru the open grass – grounded and still – postcard perfect.
On the other side is the open Atlantic Ocean with strong high waves, ancient and powerful. You hear the sound of thousands of small stones and pebbles clickity-clacking against one another as each wave swishes on the shore. The sound is hypnotic, calming in a way. It seems the receding wave actually makes the sound, as the uplifted stones settle once again on the shore. The sea – so, so open – so alive and vast.
And over all this, we hear the clip clop of the box-like shoes that toddlers wear, as they walk haltingly and exploringly on the uneven stone pathway.
Occasionally, one child stops and picks up a treasure – a pebble or perhaps a wild rose fallen from the wild bushes clinging to the walls on the mansion side. Or they being aware of the way stone fits with stone under our feet, on the walls, and all around us in stone stairwells.
Seagulls perch here and there on the stone pathway. The children run to catch them, but they gracefully fly away to the sea with an “eee, eee, eee.”
I feel being there now, that place, that time – alive again.
Perhaps you have a happy memory that gifts you a smile every time you visit it.