Memories Last Forever

Written By: Christina Xidas

I sat on the dock in Greenport Village, watching the sun rise over Long Beach Bar Lighthouse. It was something I did often during the summertime since my husband’s passing, remembering the times we had on these waters. It brought me peace; total inner peace. The crisp morning air blew ever so slightly against my face, gently pushing the curls away from my forehead. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, filling my lungs with the salty iodine filled air savoring every ounce of it. Breathing deep down into my soul so maybe, just maybe the scent will reach Michael and he too can enjoy what we once had. So invigorating, yet so relaxing at the same time. The soft clicking and clacking of the gentle waves against the docks legs and a faraway fog horn from the lighthouse was the only noise breaking the early morning silence. This was my favorite time of the day.

A few minutes passed and the silence was once again broken by a pleasure boat heading out to catch the first fish of the day. I know that feeling ever so well, I was once one of them, not too long ago. We would wake up before dawn to catch the biggest, best fish of all time. Racing in the night to leave the docks by the crack of dawn to beat everyone else as if there’s only one fish in the entire area. Each fisherman racing to their secret spot that is held sacred to them because at one point or another they were lucky enough to catch a big fish there. Weekends upon weekends were spent doing this ritual. Friday evening was spent getting coolers ready, something to snack on and a change of clothes. Saturday and Sunday mornings bright and early we were out on the water to catch a bigger fish than our fishing buddies. Sometimes they would bring in a bigger one, which would force us to search the waters frantically looking for another sacred spot.

Everything plays a roll when fishing; low tide, high tide, water speed, water temp, position of the sun and moon, type of bait, type of hook, even the color of the fishing pole. It’s a crazy science that you learn over time and the reward is a great fish and the adrenaline rush to catch it. For many years we would do this from the opening day in March to the closing of the season in December. We were out in stifling heat and icy snow, breezy weather and hurricane force winds, we were even out the day a tornado touched down in Southhold. But every time we were out on the boat we were out as a family and THAT was the most important thing in the end. We did something that as a family we can no longer do, we created memories that will last forever.

The first rays of sun climbed over the lighthouse and warmth hit my face bringing me back from that time so long ago that was etched in my mind. All I could do was to take in a deep, deep breath, breathing in the calm, crisp air and enjoy the warmth of the sun. Time stood still. This was MY sacred place now. Looking down into the water, there was a spider crab trying to climb up the dock leg. The wind had been calm for the past couple days so the water was clear enough to see the shallow bottom. Barnacles and sea weed were attached to the wooden legs of the dock just like everything that stays in these waters around Long Island.

I remained there reminiscing until the sun was way above Orient Point and the Lighthouse. More and more pleasure boats left their docks for a day of fun on the water, interrupting my calm. Some going fishing, some going boating up the coast for the weekend and some going out for a day on the water. Each one speeding by the port, churning the waters. Ahh, another summer weekend on Long Island has begun. All rushing to go have some summer fun in their own way, creating their own memories.

We can make memories every day, some though, can only be made for a short time, enjoy every moment.