I saw a photo of you in an ocean-going canoe. Not one designed for it, instead, it was the old beat up one that you and your sisters keep among the brush and the sand dunes. The one meant for a New Hampshire pond, made of cherished and dented aluminum. I saw you among the floating bits of ice in the ocean. It’s been a long time since the oceans frozen over. I’m not there to see it.
From where I am this winter, the dust is falling like snow into drifts in the corners of the trim board. I can see it in the sunlight of halogen lamps. Up here, where the mountains rest and the air smells sweetly of abandoned campgrounds on the banks of Lake George, I will follow Nine North till I run out of gas or the engine seizes. There are signs for scenic overlooks, and from them, I can observe that mountains on the far bank. It will not be long before I hit the Southern pass.
Where you are, in a little ocean-going canoe, I hope you check the charts for rocks and the stores for stowaways of the spirit. They are writers like me. Hastily made liberty ships sailed these waters once, and met the torpedo and the iron hull of the submariner. In silent ice water rust the wrecks of Nantucket Sound. Out there, we have nothing but time to think on early afternoon sunsets, and other machinations of January.
Write soon and write often, from your arctic expedition among the icebergs in that winter landscape I left behind. Trespass on the yards of great manor houses and wander the streets of the home country while you can.
Some day soon you too will find yourself in a tiny apartment up North, looking for the sea on which to launch from a beachhead of frozen sand and snow.
Navigate by the winter sun and the remnants of the summer triangle,
and for a time among the icebergs, you and I may never grow old.