The Don’t Hurry Isle

I’m pretending that I’m there right now. With a cup of morning coffee at my side, with brain and keyboard fingers operating with reptilian slowness, I imagine just relaxing on a tiny tropical island. What does it matter that a classic Nor’easter whitens the realm outside my actual place?

The Don’t Hurry Isle is not the one where the cruise ships pause in a lonely harbor. If it was, I wouldn’t be there in imagination now. I much prefer the quietude and serenity, the solitude and natural beauty of this smaller place. For me, in the eye of the storm (the middle-March “blizzard”),  the tiny island is my Innisfree, my humble share of the peace to be enjoyed today:

… And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,/ Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;/ There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,/ And evening full of the linnet’s wings... [from W.B. Yeats’, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”].

We had planned to visit our daughter Alyssa in St. Croix this April, but she decided to return home from her second year of island life a little prematurely. She’ll come home to New York State in a matter of days and we’re delighted to have her back, although I, for one, looked forward to pouncing on those tarpon-filled tropics for another cast or two of exploration. Ah well, Alyssa will just have to pack us in her suitcase when she goes back to  revisit the many friends she made down there.

The Don’t Hurry Isle ignores me as I try to hold it in my thoughts. No problem. I’m ignorable. The snow continues falling, one week from the Equinox. Schools are closed. The regional states have levied their emergency measures. I may be sick with cough and sinus issues here, but I’m fine because I’ve found some photos from last year’s island trip. I never posted these images in my “Caribbean Scrambles” series last spring, but here they’ll ease my passage to the Don’t Hurry Isle.

As the great Irish poet said, … I will arise and go now, for always night and day/ I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;/ While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,/ I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

From there, a happy St. Pat’s to all.


About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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12 Responses to The Don’t Hurry Isle

  1. Brent says:

    From one island to another–you’ve transferred Ireland to the Caribbean, and given us a warm little respite from winter’s decision to finally show up. May you fish there again in the veils of the morning!

  2. Bob Stanton says:

    I find it kind of strange, as I’ve been telling everyone, that this “winter” will most likely be bookended by December and March, at least in terms of snowfall. As it is, this is the time of year that I start to dream of hatches, a pull at the end of 4x, birdsong and a world in a flush of clorophyll green. That will have to keep me going for a while, I reckon. I had a poetry professor who was enamored of Yeats. I remember him using the “I will arise and go now…” line to illustrate iambic pentameter.

    • Bob,
      Iambic pentameter may set the basic rhythm for the poem, but rereading it I note a somewhat freer pattern that plays with a tight abab rhyme scheme. Pretty cool. And I can’t sniff at the imagery either, lines like “Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,/ And live alone in the bee-loud glade…”
      I agree with your take on the season being book-ended by cold and snow. What a strange one it’s been. With that in mind, hang on to your dream of hatches and green. I, too, hope we awaken there soon.

  3. plaidcamper says:

    I enjoyed your journey here, inward to the heart’s core. Sitting at home feeling crummy, snowed in? Well, why not take a mental travel trip? Maybe even construct that little cabin close to a shore, even if it’s only in your dreams – I’ve lost count of how many I’ve built…
    A beautifully constructed piece, and as an O’Plaidcamper, ancestrally speaking, loved the Ireland to island thread. I’ll raise a glass to the Emerald Isle and all green spaces, and to your improving health – cheers, Walt!

    • O’Plaidcamper, indeed! I’m feeling low-down but uplifted to know of another who’s built and resided (if ever so briefly) in “a small cabin… of clay and wattles made…” Cheers to the green and to the health of the Isles in this time of rising seas. Thanks so much, Adam.

  4. Wonderful post and beautiful photos. I hope you feel better soon and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  5. Such a lovely trip Walt. I hesitate telling you that it’s 80 tomorrow here in Colorado and I’m going out for my first trip of the year. Happpy St. Paddy’s Day and feel better soon.

  6. loydtruss says:

    Gorgeous images, I can see why you love to visit your daughter in St. Croix so much; could you be thinking about a move to the island? Thanks for sharing

    • We much enjoyed a visit to the island, Bill, but now that my daughter is returning home we’ll have to wait and maybe make another visit together some time down the line. We’ll wait for a while and see what comes next; there’s always something interesting to do. Thanks!

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