The problem with the Berkshires is they lack an ocean. We had one once, long ago. There was a shallow inland sea on the other side of the mountains, which we can thank for our marble valleys today. Before that, before the ancestors of the Berkshires pressed upward to Himalayan stature as bits of what might otherwise have become part of Africa twisted and folded and transformed the very bones of the Earth in a relentless upwelling, the place where I sit today was once the edge of a Continent. Sometimes I feel the lack of that long receded sea, and the press of tides from 500 million years ago.
Although a fire sign, I am drawn to water. Not just to the shore, but beneath the waves in the womb of the sea. I am a child of salt water even more than fresh, more Triton than Naiad. I am happiest with waves in hearing, with the taste of brine on my skin.
I love the undulating spine of our mountains, but they do not curl in on themselves like Atlantic rollers as they shoal. I love the way that the wind ripples the grass in an unmowed field, but there are no whitecaps at the crest except for the darting swallows. When the air here is thick and waits for summer rain, the wind is always fresh off the bay.
Still, the fireflies in the meadow are are just as magical to me as glowing phosphorescence on dark nights by the shore. The song of the ovenbird plays at the strings of my heart like the mewing of gulls. The red efts in our moist woods and the savory wild mushrooms are the treasures we find here, instead of combing the beach and digging for clams.
In life, longing and loving, here and not here, are braided like strands of rope and are stronger together. There is time for each in its season, and to hold the absent places of the heart in our mind's eye. I feel the wind from the sea when I walk in these inland woods. I smell the sweet earth of home when my feet press the wet sand. They are all part of the fabric, a unified whole, and so my restless heart finds comfort.