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A Cape winter, via the written word


With an Arctic blast of air set to take over the Cape over the next few days, it seems appropriate to dig out a few of the finer literary contributions about the winter. So, try to stay warm, and here we go …

J.H. Mitchell and Whit Griswold, “Hiking Cape Cod” “What sort of madness is it that could drive us, and others like us, to even consider walking the beach during a wild winter blow? We decided that water is at the root of our madness. Some are fulfilled by .. a chlorinated pool … a mountain stream or lake. But others can only rest easy when they are by the sea.”

Henry Beston, “The Outermost House” “By the middle of February the sight of an unknown someone walking on the beach … would have been a historical event. To be able to see and study undisturbed the processes of nature — I like better the old Biblical phrase ‘mighty works’ — is an opportunity for which any man might well feel reverent gratitude, and here at last, in this silence and isolation of winter, a whole region was mine whose innermost natural life might shape itself to its ancient courses without the hindrance and interferences of man.”

Charlton Ogburn Jr., “The Winter Beach” “It was a monotone vista, harsh and unrelenting, with nothing in it to suggest that there was any ingredient of the universe to indulge the softer side of human nature. It did not matter. I felt tireless, as if, like the gulls borne on the upshot current of the wind, I tapped the forces of the boisterous elements, as if the very thunder of the surf were transmuted into an intoxicant in my veins.”


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© 2020 by Don Wilding.

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