Friday, November 28, 2008


I went for a three hour walk to the point where Vasili took us a few days ago. It is windswept and rocky, and there are low plants but not much for trees on most of it. The waves from yesterday's stormy day crashed and splashed on the rocks. The whitecaps were spectacular in the blue sea. It was reminiscent of Pemaquid or Thunder Hole or Ocean Point. I could have been homesick; instead I was right at home. The rocks, plants, soil are all different but the action is the same. I wandered around from rock to rock; the structures are pointed and knobby, as though the volcanic eruption that formed this land brought together different minerals that erode at different rates. Some of them formed cylindrical holes near the water.
I rubbed each plant I encountered. Thyme, of course. No other aromatics in the low growing areas. A tree with long slender leaves smelled camphorish, maybe eucalyptus.
The walk goes past four or five beaches, each with its own character. Where the stony parts met the waves, the sound was like a jet, or firecrackers. I had my shoes off, pants rolled above the knee, wading in the waves, and getting a little wet.
I went swimming on Wednesday at a little cove on the leeward side of a peninsula. There is a beach on the other side, too, full of waves; the winter swimmers choose the beach of the day according to which way the wind blows, and warm up on the rocks in the sun afterward.

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