Another Chesapeake Odyssey
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I salute and praise the bored Goddess Oshun for a very brief but enjoyable two days on the mighty Chesapeake Bay!
Oshun's praise and worship team was brought to the Chesapeake area in the 1600s to do all the heavy lifting and farming. Now, in their honor, the main road through the peninsula where we stay is named Frederick Douglass Highway. He got his start (and not a good one) on a plantation in that area.
Today, Dick Cheney lives in the same region, so you might say the karma is not exactly blissful. But we Johnsons can't resist the view from the ever-more-expensive inn where we stay. This year's visit was the shortest yet. Like everybody else, we're watching the economy with great anxiety.
You know what? There's bitter irony everywhere. A tanking economy means fewer people buying boats and shorefront properties. And this is the lead-in for today's sermon.
Spare and I always go kayaking when we visit the Chesapeake. Not far from the inn, as a buzzard flies, there's a little wild spit of sand where you can beach the boat and wade. The water isn't deep for hundreds of feet out into the channel, so it's like a gigantic natural swimming pool.
Except a miracle has happened, readers. We should all Hail Oshun, Queen of the Bay!
When Heir, Spare and I first made landfall at this little wild beach, there was a sandy bottom all the way out. Nothing much to step over except a few dead horseshoe crabs. This year, in addition to the fabulous and unexpected dearth of jellyfish, the beach showed a fantastic transformation. Basically, it was all but gone.
Acres and acres of seaweed has sprouted where once there was only barren sand. This puts an end to human swimming but marks the beginning of a new nursery for the teeming life that calls the Chesapeake home. Seaweed is a sign of health for the bay, so even a little bit of it makes my soul glad and loosens my tongue for the praise of Oshun, may her people recall her name!
Mr. J and Spare love the Chesapeake for its water, and its steamed crabs, and its pretty sailboats. But let me tell you, the buzzarding is good there too. When Nature provides, I always heave a nice roadkill into the field for the local vulture population, but it's not necessary. There's never a vulture-free sky, and if you know where they hang out, you can do a devotion that they will see, hear, and ponder!
The news gets even better. My daughter The Heir is home safe and sound from beautiful Oslo! (Thanks be to the deities of the Norse pantheon!) She climbed mountains, she survived a frightening terrorist attack, and she got to see how another nation handles a horrific tragedy. Suffice it to say that Norway is very, very different from America. The people there are determined that this event will not change the freedoms they value. Heir tells me that within a week of the bombing, all the barricades were removed, and the police presence returned to normal. Not that Norway has no problems -- Heir saw the junkies -- but it's not a paranoid, "eye for an eye" culture.
Heir's bummed to the max about being home. Suddenly her beloved New Jersey isn't quite as appealing. Just now she was telling me about taking a 10-minute El train ride to a fresh water lake with a swimming beach. HA! A 10-minute El train ride here gets me to foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy ... Philadelphia. Somebody open up a window!
Back to the Chesapeake: I'll try to get Oshun here this week for an interview. She must be thrilled at even the smallest sign of improvement in Her domain. I know I was! Forget swimming. It's seaweed, seaweed, seaweed for me!
I've got to ask you something. How many blogs talk about the Chesapeake Bay and illustrate the sermon with pictures of buzzards and the Jersey Turnpike? That's why you should stop by here frequently. Nothing makes sense. And that's a damn good thing.
"Oshun," by the truly incomparable Thalia Took.