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In a few words: dark, wet, chilly. Mostly dark.

 

My days start by walking the dog. I live about 50 yards from the ocean. There is no beach here, per se, but rocks, logs, barnacles and about a hundred years worth of broken glass. There is no sand to grind the glass into frosty little blobs. Instead it remains wedged between kelpy rocks, sharp and slimy.

 

When the tide is low, I walk close to the water's edge, dodging clam squirts as they dig away from my footfalls. At high tide, it's log to log, or I'm in the water. The beach, such as it is, faces east, so I can spend summer mornings thawing myself out a bit, as the sun will have been up three or four hours before me--if it really ever sets in the summer; even at the darkest time of night, the sky remains a deep teal with only the brightest stars and planets showing. 

 

Spring and fall are the glory times--sun fighting through milky fog, great blue heron flies wearily away when I approach with the dog bouncing along beside me. These are the times when the coast really is the coast. Big tides trailing the water with flotsam, and air that is not really salty, but carries with it life and decay.

 

Winter for me starts when it is no longer light enough to pick my way along the obstacles, and I have to walk on the street. It's not just that the sun rises so late and sets so early, it's also the deep overcast that sucks the colour out of midday that leaves me craving a bit of blue and a few splashes of yellow. But already, the lopsided year is coming around.