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This guy comes from generations of people going back to the founding of Chincoteague Island. He knows every cove, he knows the way the ponies move, knows every bird, every current it would seem.

There’s comfort in that.

Just in that.

I’m sure there’s dark history there too. There always is. But, his demeanor was always very welcoming and his knowledge was boundless when it came to the place.

So, I enjoyed that. I let myself enjoy that without delving in deeper. Being in what people call an “inter-racial” relationship I wasn’t sure how we would be received in this more conservative place. But, we were treated with respect.

I don’t know anything beyond that. And I’m letting myself get okay with that because in 28 years of monogamy this was our first five day break together. And we needed the salt air and the time and the relaxation.

It occurs to me how unfamiliar that is. Permission to relax. There’s injustice everywhere. But, I have to slow down in order to find my own happiness. Slowing down sometimes feels like betrayal. It’s a bad pattern that keeps us sick and stuck and spinning.

So, Captain John taught me something. He never stopped working either. But, he knew his element and he knew how to thrive in his environment. I learned a lot watching him scrub his Carolina Skiff’s and show children minnows in a net.

I learned what it looked like, at least from the outside, to just be. No fixing. Just doing.

It healed my soul.

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