Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I've mentioned it before, unscientific and almost comical as it sounds: the whole notion of "puddingstone" being the conglomerate dominating the scene at Hanging Rock, at Crab Town, at Purgatory Chasm. I was sitting below that significant puddingstone outcropping at Surfers' End a week or so ago, as it's a great place to seek shelter from the wind (and to run into people one might know), when I looked up and saw St. George's chapel in weathered gray, with its four weathervaned spires, looming above and behind the rocks. They're omnipresent in these parts, those spires; one sees them from everywhere, in many lights, under many conditions — sun, sunset, fog — high upon their hilltop. The scene atop the puddingstone was omnipresent, too: a young family. One baby on hip, another on the way. Grandmother in attendance. Dad taking the picture ... was that really me/us, so long ago??

No, I'm not blonde. And I was shy about wearing a bikini. Grandma Betty, too. Though we both wear bikinis now. (Why not?? Who cares?? If not now, when??) I'll admit to feeling weird about it: not the bikini-wearing so much as the people-watching. I try not to stare, but it's hard, as it's like looking back in time. It's impossible not to look back in time.

That chapel, too, has watched over so much time, so many people (bikini-clad and otherwise), all those endless waves, large and small, roaring and crashing, or just gently-if-inexorably lapping, toward the beach, the sand, the puddingstone ...