to Henry Beston's literary classic and the
spirit of life on the Great Outer Beach of Cape Cod
Passages from "The Outermost House"
The waves crash past the usual water line at high tide during August of 1999, as Hurricane Dennis churned 500 miles south in the Atlantic. (Photo by Don Wilding)
The seas are the heart's blood of the earth. Plucked up and kneaded by the sun and the moon, the tides are systole and diastole of earth's veins. The rhythm of the waves beats in the sea like a pulse of living flesh. It is pure force, forever embodying itself in a succession of watery shapes which vanish on its passing. It (surf) is best to be seen, I think, when the wind is not too high. A gale blows up a surf, but it also flattens out the incoming rollers, making monstrous, foamy traveling mounds of them much like those visible from a ship at sea. Not until the wind has dropped do the breakers gather foam.