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Memento Vivere

October 12th, 2009 by Beth Colt

Memento Vivere…Remember to Live.

“Memento Vivere” was tattooed on the arm of a friend who died unexpectedly last month.  Like he was trying to send a posthumous message to the rest of us… And so it was I embraced the carpe diem of it all and wandered off the beaten path this week in Woods Hole.

Ahh, the fall weather on Cape Cod is so unbelievably sweet.  I walked in the full moonlight around on Harbor Hill Road and back into town at School Street.  It was about 10 pm on a quiet Monday night and once I was on Harbor Hill I did not see a person or a car until a got back into town.  The crickets were singing to me, moonlight filtered through the leaves and a soft warm breeze followed.  Magical, zen, very in the moment.

Jon Kabat-Zinn lives in Woods Hole, with his family, and if you have read any of his books (“Full Catastrophe Living” or “Wherever You Go, There You Are”) you will recognize the splendor in a moment like that one.

So I share a few fall photos of Woods Hole.   This is from the Great Harbor where the ferries pass daily to the Vineyard, looking back across the water at our little town.  Windy day, but not cold yet.

The Woods Hole Passage, they call it, and it is one of the most treacherous crossings on the eastern seaboard — currents of 4-5 knots pull industrial sized buoys sideways at peak tides and the narrow channel is peppered with rocks the size of small islands.  A boat a day goes on the rocks here in the summer and there is a Coast Guard station around the corner to service all the rescues needed.  Through these waters pass huge yachts, old wooden racing boats called “Twelve Footers” and “Knockabouts,” Hinckley picnic boats daytripping to Quicks Hole and fishing boats of all shapes and sizes following the striped bass and bluefish.

And this is Hadley Harbor in the off season.  A short boat ride from Woods Hole, through the Woods Hole Passage, any local charter fisherman can take you there.  Empty and undeveloped, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Memento Vivere.

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