Traveling has become a component of modern life. I just spent a week in the United Kingdom to meet my grandson for the first time and to see my granddaughter again. My daughter and her husband guided us around Wimbledon, where they live with their children. My wife Cindi and I even spent two days seeing the sights of London. In fact, we spent a day at Hampton Court, a home of Henry VIII.
However, all vacations eventually come to an end and one must journey back home. Sometimes when you travel you must get up exceptionally early to make an early flight. That was the case last Tuesday. As the first of the morning light crept into our opened window at the inn, I heard those lovely sounds the joyous birds make to greet each new day. I am one of those folks who wake up a few moments before the alarm goes off, no matter what time it is set.
All of my life I have enjoyed the chatter of the early morning birds. My mother, another early riser, loved walking the garden in the morning just to hear the birds. She would declare during breakfast how we were visited by cardinals, blue jays, robins, etc. My dad always noted the aggressive behavior of “those nasty blue jays.” Our kitchen had a huge window facing our backyard and rock garden. The birds would visit the garden every morning.
Coming home to the east end is not an ordeal but a joy and an honor. There is no place like home, and in my opinion there is no better place to call home than right off the Atlantic Ocean on Long Island. Too many of us take for granted seeing the seagulls soaring through the sunlight up high in the sky. Sometimes they seem to be going somewhere on a mission. Other times they seem to circle around us and play in the breezes. They are not seen inland.
On the plane ride home from England to Long Island we actually flew over Maidstone, England. It is not that far from the English Channel. It is the town many of the original settlers of the Hamptons originally came from. They landed in Lynn, Massachusetts and made their way south to settle the east end. As small as my coach seat was on the plane, I am sure any one of those settlers would have preferred it to their boat ride. No doubt the passage they endured in the late 1630s across the ocean was rough.
Leaving England early meant we arrived on Long Island midafternoon. It was summertime hot. The drive east was an opened window drive. I actually played the song, “East End Run,” by Nancy Atlas on the car stereo and sang along. I was happy to be driving home.
After being back on Long Island things went back to normal. Later in the week I worked to ready my 22’ sailboat for its annual launch into my slip on Three Mile Harbor. Yes, it is that time of year. I will be back out in Gardiners Bay under sail before the end of April. The boat is painted, rigged and ready to go. I, too, am rigged and ready to go for the east end summer season of 2023!
The next morning after coming home from Europe, I woke early, perhaps due to my internal time clock being out of whack after traveling through time zones. Wide awake at 6:05 am, I started to hear the birds chirping away. It was an epiphany that the sounds took me back to that last morning in Wimbledon. Then I realized the birds wake folks all over the world, every morning.
They do have Canada geese in England, but they also have Egyptian geese that have a unique spot on their head, and a completely different color look to the same body we see all over the Hamptons. As I was fetching my mail at the East Hampton Post Office, I ran into someone getting his back mail, too. He mentioned he was in Costa Rica and it was great but he said, “It was great, but boy it’s great to be back in East Hampton with this warm weather.” I agreed.