Musing the Heavens

Musing the Heavens is a reflection on the shapes that clouds make and what it could mean. Enjoy, and thanks for visiting.

Musing the Heavens. Holy Clouds (1 of 1)

I have the privilege of spending time on the water as the boat steerer (coxswain) for my rowing team. My primary plain of vision, because I’m steering the boat, is water and sky. Water, for the need to see what’s around and ahead as we row and sky for changes in weather. Continue reading “Musing the Heavens”

Sunrise Rowing


Sunrise Rowing
Butler Light at Sunrise

Sunrise Rowing

Some ask why our merry band of whaleboat rowers called the Gray Buzzards choose to row three and four times a week year-round. And here’s why. It’s been snowy. It’s been very cold, so much so that our boats were iced in to their slips just days before. But it warmed up to a balmy 22 degrees yesterday with nearly no wind. The sun was rising as we rounded our 134th consecutive month of rowing around this old iconic lighthouse, called Butler Flats Light, just outside of New Bedford Harbor. Talk about “Sunrise Rowing!”

There is absolutely nothing like seeing the sun rise over the water day in and day out. There, among the beautiful new-day light, gulls overhead and harbor seals crisscrossing off of our stern, no matter what challenges the day ahead may bring, it just feels wonderful to be alive.

 Sunrise Rowing. Snowy Skylark (1 of 1)
Snowy Skylark

Interested in learning to row? Visit Whaling City Rowing

Text and image by Kevin Lee

Gray Buzzards Towing Service

Some stories just beg to be shared. And in a spirit of light-heartedness and fun, this one’s a keeper.

I have membership in a recreational rowing club called Whaling City Rowing, located in New Bedford Harbor. Our club is made up of teams, and the crew I row with, is called The Gray Buzzards. The name, I must say, confuses me because we’re all so young and exceedingly good-looking. I’ve been with this band of merry men for twelve years or so and have long since forgotten who named us or why.

IMG_4462We share the waterways around New Bedford Harbor, which is connected to Buzzards Bay and the Atlantic Ocean beyond throughout the year with many commercial fishing vessels, sailboats and powerboats. Other recreational rowing clubs also enjoy the harbor and lower Acushnet River as well. As a matter of safety and courtesy, (as boaters should do everywhere) we also look out for one anther and offer assistance whenever it seems needed. Continue reading “Gray Buzzards Towing Service”

Ten Thousand Sunrises

I took this picture as our rowing team, the Gray Buzzards, was preparing to take off on our usual 5:45 AM row, this time out of Padanaram Harbor in South Dartmouth. Being on the water this time of day, with the sun creeping up over the eastern sky and the (typically) prevailing gentle morning sea breeze, …almost everything you see, hear and smell at this time of day nourishes and feeds the senses. This day was no exception.

Only minutes before, the sun wasn’t up yet. And because I had just literally walked the length of the dock while setting up our boat at the other end, the seagull wasn’t there either.  I had barely unloaded some of our rowing gear from the back of my van when I turned and noticed the rising sun. There it was….the sun, the seagull, and the silhouetted dock and pilings in all their glory before the rising sun. I dropped everything, grabbed my camera, got the shot and then it hit me…..

…Twenty seven years ago I took a similar shot (on right) on this very same dock at almost the same time of day. I was shooting at sunrise through a foggy mist, and as you can see, I had a seagull in my viewfinder that time, too! It was with an older model film camera, which was not only well before the birth digital cameras, it was even before the Internet as we know of it today.

Knowing all the joys and changes and sorrows, both in terms of personal life experiences, and those that have affected my community, my country and our world during this time, caused me some pause. A lot of life (if we’re lucky!) unfolds in twenty-seven years. Then, Betty Ann and I were parenting three children all under ten years of age. Today we’re grandparents of five young children! I’m older, wider, a bit wrinkly, but at least hair doesn’t get in my eyes the way it used to.

Still, I am here and (usually) fully present, and with the help of a little Motrin now and then, (okay, regularly) most of the moving parts still do what they’re supposed to do. And on this day, the gift I’m given, to be here now, to row in the good company of five other guys, on the water, in mid June on the dawn of a new day is a treasure and blessing for which I am grateful.

Twenty-seven years. That’s pretty darn close to ten thousand sunrises between those two photos. And as our team gets under way and shoves off from the dock, another seagull working in the shallows nearby flips loose a quahog, flies up a bit and drops his breakfast on the rocks below. The distant “crack” of shell hitting stone reminds me that I’m lucky to hear it and that it’s also twenty-seven years of staying our of the obituaries.

So the dawn unfolds into day as our row continues. The rhythm of life and color and form shout “hello” and will not be denied nor broken. And for me there is a quiet comfort in all this.

Six men. One boat. And having felt our way into one more day and counting, we finish our row and part into the day we have been given.

River Runs

We have a saying among the Buzzards team members that “what happens in the boat stays in the boat!” It’s a good rule, unless a story is just too good not to share! So I’ll leave the names out to protect the innocent and shield the guilty!

Continue reading “River Runs”