Inspiration is a tricky thing. Sometimes it comes naturally, slipping in quietly and curling up against you. At other times, it pours in torrents too fast to contain. And sometimes, you just have to go and hunt it down, pounding the pavement in search of something that catches your fancy.

Lately, it’s been in the latter category for me, and I’ve simply been too busy to do much about it. But my student finished up her summer work in lab the other day, and things are beginning to quiet down. (Sort of. Or at least change pace. That counts, right? Often, a change of direction is as good as a rest. I’m hoping, anyway.)

Last Friday, Branden and I headed off in search of the ocean after work. It was a gorgeous day, but a tiny bit on the cool side. We decided to explore Wingaersheek beach in Rockport. I’ve never been to Cape Ann, but it’s supposed to be very nice. Despite being back in MA for three years, we’ve hardly even begun to explore beaches on the North Shore.

When we got there, the beach was deserted. It was right around dinnertime, and the cooler weather seems to have discouraged the usual summer crowds. The tide was out, and we probably walked for a mile or so each way. I don’t think we saw more than 10 people the whole time we were there; we had practically the whole beach to ourselves.

We walked along, finding tiny treasures


and admiring the wind patterns in the sand. (I could look at sand patterns all day.)






And then there are the tracks left by the water as it recedes



I see lightning bolts, tree roots, dendrons and axons. What do you see?

Then there were our own tracks, stretching back across the sand.


Even tire tracks took on a slightly magical feel. (Wouldn’t that look nice as a raised slip stitch pattern?)


As the sun got lower and lower, the sand sparkled like gold.


The sky above us was just as amazing.


And there is so much of it.


I love the sense of wide open space at the ocean. Some part of my just sighs with relief at the sense of expansion by the sea. (There’s a tiny person out on those rocks, to give a sense of scale.)







It’s hard to find wide open spaces in New England, except for these huge stretches of land that the ocean reclaims a couple of times a day.

See that tiny patch of marsh grass?


If you look a little closer, you might just see some of the colors from my Passeggiata shawl.



Maybe that’s why I like it so much.