The Salt Marsh Smells Like Home: 14/365

I grew up next to a salt marsh. Tall grass and cattails, a muddy bottom estuary that filled and receded with the tide, meandering toward the town harbor. Low tide on summer nights, the breeze kicks up briny and strong. Good salt air. That is the smell of home.

As a girl I’d play behind the neighbor’s house, where the woods met the edge of the marsh. The trees made a canopy, dappled sunlight falling on a shallow pool of water surrounded by skunk cabbage and rocks. A small wood plank stretched between rocks allowing passage over the water. I’d hop from rock to rock, balance across the plank, poke the mud with a long stick, and make up stories out loud. I didn’t like to share that place. I preferred to be there alone, dreaming my words out loud to myself, Sarah, Queen of the Skunk Cabbage.

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6 thoughts on “The Salt Marsh Smells Like Home: 14/365

  1. Beautiful. Sarah – I wanted to ask – did you grow up in Laurel Beach? I vaguely remember Amiee saying that – but I never know these days what I heard and what I hallucinated. My mother’s family had a house for 40+ years at Laurel Beach – we called it “the cottage” – a little red house on Third Avenue. It is my proto-crypto dream house and I was so sad when we had to give it up 8 years ago.

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    • Rachel, this is such an amazing small-world connection! Amie had mentioned it to me too, and then I’d completely forgotten. I think I know your house on Third! I grew up closer to the center of town, but my grandparents lived on Sixth Avenue and we spent our summers on the beach. I’m thinking we must have met at some point? My dad now lives in the house on Sixth, and we have family on Third too. I live close by, a couple blocks up from the tennis courts. You’ll have to let me know if you’re ever down this way! 🙂

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  2. OMG that really is a small-world connection. I love it! I bet my grandparents (the Riordans) would have known your family’s name. When I was three we rented a house from the Lesco’s on I think 2nd ave, down toward the beach. My dad tried to find a job at the V.A. there but ended up getting one at a V.A. in Massachusetts sooner so we moved out of the area and that’s where I grew up. Summers we were always at the beach and I’m sure we must have met each other at some point! I remember a girl named Jocelyn though I’m not sure of her last name…

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    • This is so amazing! My maiden name is Healy, so that’s the name your family might recognize from those days. My grandparents were Edna and Jack. Your grandparents last name is so familiar to me!

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