What are the winter doldrums? They are primarily a feeling of oncoming "blues," a creeping sadness and lethargy caused by the absence of light more than the presence of cold. When my Mother was feeling down she would say she was blue. These days we might say a slight depression of mood. I prefer the descriptor of blues. Somebody was singing the blues all around me and the song was seductive so escape seemed like a good idea.
My traveling buddy and I packed up our two cars, loaded her two canines, and off we went. Pouring rain was our constant companion. Starting from Faber, Virginia, that is in South Central Virginia, and going to Duck, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and ending up on or very close to the same latitude as where we left, is not increasing day light. Nor is it decreasing cold. But Duck is a six hour drive and it is a stunning place, with the Atlantic on the east and Currituck Sound on the west. My buddy and I were both 66 years old at the time. We were interested in the beauty and the power of the sea and in discovery and distraction from the blues.
Even in the winter the sea fills the soul and energizes the body. It renews a sense of wonder and of adventure. The sea is never the same from day to day. The beach is never the same from tide to tide. No moment repeats itself. Every day is a new quest. This is something that is easy to forget. Back home I have to be silent and watch and listen to catch the ever changing moments around me. I tend to be so caught up in my routines that I fail to notice that everything changes from second to second. But here, about 50 yards from the surf, it cannot be avoided.
And the light! I use the word light both literally and figuratively. It is different here, by the Atlantic or by any ocean. The clouds, the wind and the sun conspire to mesmerize the eyes. The question is, therefore, what is it about these phenomena that seem to chase away the blues? We spent 5 weeks, from January to the first part of February, living in , what I called, the Round House, in Duck. During that time we answered the question above and said goodbye to the doldrums. This is a photographic journal of that remarkable trip.