For twenty years I’ve walked around Blakely Pond at the end of Blakely Harbor. Yet, I never noticed this rotting stump until the right combination of ebbing tide, bright sun, just enough evaporation from the stump, and “waking up!” to what is around me.
On this day, the stump jumped out at me. What caught my eye was the gold of the wood. Then I noticed the octopus shape of the stumps roots. How had I missed this gorgeous sculpture? As I walked off the trail to get a closeup, the grass under my boots started crinkling. I realized I had gone below the tidal line and was stepping on some form of sea grass.
How had I missed the stump in the tidal grass in my twenty years of staying on the trail?
On my next outing, I was drawn to the stump.
It was later in the day and the tide was lower. Now the top of the stump had time to dry out and the sun’s golden rays didn’t reflect as much. Little wonder that I had missed this stump during my walks. It was just another dried out gray stump among many.
By now my eyes were hooked. How many ways could I capture the decaying stump? At how many times of day could I walk by to check on it? I thought maybe it might be a piece of driftwood. I walked down to see if I could move it. This octopus was deeply rooted in the tidal earth. How many levels of tide could I capture? How many types of weather can I capture? I guess I will have to actually come here in the rain, not just on the sunny days or the more probable sun break days.
As I keep my focus on the stump, I widen my point of view. How does the stump relate to the rest of its natural and unnatural world?
One of the reasons that I am paying attention to the stump more often is that a new walking bridge was placed across the Blakely Harbor jetties in early December 2019. The bridge completed a circle of trails around the harbor. Now this bridge and the octopus stump are a must stop on my weekly exercise jaunts.
The gold reflection of a long dead tree jumped out and grabbed me. Today, I thank the many variables of tide, light, and decay that caused me to “Wake Up!”