Posted by: jevcat | March 18, 2012

Tugging at the Heart

For the last two mornings, my Beloved and I have awoken to a harbor swathed in cotton wool, the sun, when visible, just a paler grey disk, shedding the occasional glimmer of platinum or pewter on the surface of the water.

The only things moving on the water are the ferry and a flotilla of tugboats shepherding the barges.  I have always loved tugs, and I may finally have figured out why.  Like me, tugboats are not sleek, elegant, or speedy.  They are short and chubby, but they are strong.  Tugs are the workhorses of the harbor, and all your luxurious floating palaces (or these days, floating shopping malls) could not exist without the sturdy tugs that guide and help supply them.  Tugs are not “pretty” but, to me, they are beautiful, and this morning they seem almost to have the harbor for themselves.  There are other boats out there, though, the ones the tugs are heading for, and I can hear them, their horns complementing the steady sound of the fog horn and the chime of the buoys.

I’ve always loved foghorns, too.  Their sound is usually described as “mournful,” but to me they are hopeful and comforting.  They say, “I am standing watch.  I will protect you,” and the boats signally their location to each other are saying, “I am here; where are you?  I am here, alright so far.”  Me, too.

Photo by Roger Bingler

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