Sculling on Tawas Bay / Richard Douglass

August 2021

Glistening calm as the sun breaks over the far horizon
Not a ripple, not a wave, not a crest or movement
Faint late summer fog rising
As if the mass of water was silenced for a moment in time
Stroking easily, 18 feet of ash wings
Catch, draw, pull, catch, repeat – rhythm of movement
The sliding seat in opposition to the draw on oars
scullThe touch of blade to water
Behind me a sweeping arch
My wake, nearly delicate, marked on each side
Parallel pools of disturbed water
Blade markers of my path, a pattern of my past
The horizon now glowing with sunlight
The stillness on the shore
Now strays into morning,
the moment has passed into a day

Richard Douglass / Tawas City, Michigan

I am 20 months beyond my wife’s death. She prepared me for her dying, but the passage of time needs nurturing if I am to fully heal. One of my tonics is sculling, a single shell with ash oars, on Tawas Bay early in the morning. It is healing, like meditation in motion. So today I put my morning’s row into words.

2 thoughts on “Sculling on Tawas Bay / Richard Douglass

  1. I am so sorry for the loss of your wife. I have not experienced a loss like this, but am facing a challenge daily. The words “Catch, draw, pull, catch, repeat – rhythm of movement” reminded me of my efforts to keep moving forward. Thank you for sharing a piece of your healing with us.


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