Before my swim yesterday, TCH and I walked along the beach to the Pines. I love beach walks too, and this one by the Atlantic was especially thrilling and peaceful at the same time. How does this ocean get its name, I wondered. I would like to live by the sea, I told TCH, and tried to get him to dissuade me by describing all the problems with a sea-side house. The houses at the Pines were bigger than those at Cherry Grove. Some looked as if they should be made of stone instead of weathered boards, the way they imposed themselves on the eye. Some had turned the dune into manicured lawns or artful gardens. I mocked the effort to domesticate the wild, to turn an island into a suburb, but I also appreciated the ingenuity and persistence in growing grass from sand.
We spent much of the day reading, in the hotel room and in the restaurant Island Breeze. TCH liked the beginning of Hollinghurst's The Folding Star, but not enough to want to persist with its 400 over pages. Today he returned to his WWII novel. I persisted with Herman Melville's Billy Budd and Other Tales. The persistence was necessary since I did not take to it naturally and immediately. I was finally rewarded when I reached the tale "The Encantadas," more a series of descriptive sketches than a story. The writing there was so imaginative and masterly that I forgot all earlier strain, on my part as well as the author's, and let myself be carried away to the cindery hell that is the Galapagos.