Gamming Ashore on Ring's Island
before the New Harvest Moon
proves fruitful ...
Towards summer end ~ before the high tides of the New Harvest Moon ~ Ray and Wendy Pike held a gam on the Salisbury town pier at Ring's Island.

The gam was a gathering of assorted friends before the Pikes headed off to a southerly harbor for the winter ~ with Ray planning to return later to end his first boating season as Salisbury's harbormaster.

In a Motion of Comity, the Pikes invited some of the Waterside people from across the river to join them.

Gathering in this setting would prove an perfect opportunity to view the Waterside from the Salisbury town pier ~ and to review the prospective Plan in Motion ~ from a different perspective and with different, fresh perspectives.

The Waterside of Newburyport, with boats moored in the Merrimack River harbor and seagulls in the late afternoon sky was the tableau for this image ...

At the gam on the Salisbury town pier, everyone brought something to the table. Amidst it all was Captain Pike in his blue harbormaster cap. Eric sat at the table, sharing food and food for thought.

While "gamming" with Eric ~ it became exceedingly clear that he would be an important "Comity connection"
~ And that as a sixth grader in the Newburyport School System, he would help build a strong bridge across the Merrimack River and between generations.
Earlier this year, Eric had sailed on Captain Pike's old gaff-rigged ketch when she sustained damage during inclement weather on her abandoned voyage homeward from Chesapeake Bay. As he retold the tale of misadventure, it was mentioned that Misty Isles was the flagship for the Waterside movement. The conversation turned to Plan in Motion, the recent Once in a Blue Moon opportunity and the next milestone to remark should Lord Tim return home again the last weekend in October ~ for the next leg of the journey.

Eric encouraged plans for Lord Timothy Dexter's next adventure on October 30th ~ sharing insight and suggesting how to make this a truly inter-generational affair.
1 ~ With the consent of his parents ~ Eric enthusiastically agreed to be our emissary at the school, and urged we contact his social studies teacher, Mrs. Carol Snow about (what he considered) an extraordinary extracurricular activity for young and old alike.

Then, as if on cue, a seal appeared in the estuary at the mouth of the river. The gamming hushed as the humans silently watched the creature disappear and reappear in the waters.

Eric's father (Salisbury's Assistant Harbormaster George Millikin) points out the figure; Eric's mother Melissa is partially obscured to their right and directly behind Eric is Sea Scout Skipper Alice Twombly of the Ring's Island Rowing Club.

In hindsight, could this have been a good omen?

The Amerindian peoples consider seals to be powerful totem animals.2 Seal totems are said to bring several powers to humans including lucid dreaming, protection from danger, and creativity. Gentle, playful and adaptable, the medicine of the seal totem is said to assist humans to move through emotions with ease and contentment ~ and to help integrate reasoning with intellect. However, when channeling these powers, humans should beware of a tendency towards talkativeness (and even laziness) and redirect or revive energies appropriately.
Reflecting on the earlier conversation ~ and the Plan in Motion (putting words into action) ~ Eric quietly stood at the Ring's Island town pier, with Newburyport and the setting sun in the distance ...

Eventide befalls the Waterside and lights shine along the Newburyport boardwalk. The tide rising, the sun setting ~ there is much to accomplish if Lord Tim is to come home again in a Motion of Comity ~ bringing history to life with the first "figger" from his "mouseum of grate caricters" to remark the 215th anniversary of George Washington's 1789 visit to Newburyport and surrounding communities.

The sun setting, this is the last image captured that eventide ~ the perspective southwesterly, with Newburyport on the horizon. And so we head for our homestead across the river, facing better prospects for the time and place where we can see our tommorrows dawn.
That morrow ...

At the Salisbury town pier on Ring's Island, this image captured the place where Eric stood the evening before ~ a photo opportunity lost in the dark. Truth be told, Eric is superimposed in this image, much as he had posed then ...

In the background is the Pike homestead. This photo captures the American flag, as Eric had hoped it would fly, its stars and stripes unfurled. Sometimes, it takes a bit of design and fabrication for our dreams to unfold in reality.


With the high tide of the new moon on September 14th, there would be many goals to reach by the Full Harvest Moon of September 28th, and further progress still for Lord Tim to come home again by the Full Hunters Moon of October 28th.

Another photo captures ducks by the pier ~ and should be captioned "getting your ducks in a row" ~ which will be the key task ahead ... forwarded in a Motion of Comity.


1Eric was interviewed for his point of view and impressions. He made several key points during the exchange ~ which is an appropriate outcome for a "gam" (defined as a social interchange at sea or ashore that offers an opportunity for mariners and adventurers to discuss where they are and where they are going and adapt their course based upon one another's experiences).

As an alumnus of Brown Elementary School, Eric told his own experiences as a student in Pam Kent's class. He solemnly mentioned that Mrs. Kent has now "passed away"~ but he will "always remember" her and what he considered "very rewarding" experiences as her student. Eric recounted class visits to the Wheelwright House and Brigham Manor nursing homes on High Street and an historical tour of the Old South Church.

[Apparently, these class outings within the South End neighborhood were organized in concert with physical education teacher, Cathy Hill, and the conversation briefly digressed to a discussion about the Clipper Skippers, his friend Justin, and "double unders" --- a rope skipping technique which "sounds complicated" but he assured us was something his classmates had mastered.]

Eric then regaled us with stories about the social teas with new friends and a class tour of the Old South Church, including facts about the crypt beneath the church pulpit where the remains of George Whitefield repose. (Visit this interesting external link to review an article originally published in the early 20th century.)

He advised us about engaging his contemporaries, and urged that we include all generations in our plans for Lord Tim's next adventure and the All Hallows Eve, finding a way to include those friends at the nursing homes. After George Washington and Ben Franklin's visits, Eric considered a portrayer for Whitefield would be in order --- and began making suggestions about other historic personages.

Asked why he considered these characterizations important, Eric proposed that this would offer the audience an opportunity for a "thoughtful, personal interview" with the historical figure --- and that these "good questions and answers" would "increase their knowledge" and lead to a "better understanding of history and the world."

Leading us to conclude that if everyone throughout history --- past, present and future --- could be as "thoughtful" as Eric, the world would be a better place. We look forward to his friends and classmates joining in the conversation. Eric encouraged that we contact Mrs. Snow, and was most willing to play a role in the upcoming events and extend the invitation to others.

2Native American or Amerindian tribes considered animals to be spirit guides or totems. The Celts, Chinese and other cultures have similar beliefs, with each animal providing a certain strength or power to humans.
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