CONNECTING PEOPLE, NATURE ANDĀ OPPORTUNITY

TRAIL OF CLUES

  
   
 
August 22, 2010
- This morning I awoke to the sound of falling acorns hitting the iron balcony outside the bedroom.  Despite the tremendous sense of inertia, it was time to wake up and go for an early morning walk.  The still voice inside me was telling me to walk downtown to Starbucks for an iced coffee and continue down to the waterfront to hunt for some clues.  
 
After purchasing my coffee I wandered back toward First Avenue crossing over the Post Road and continued onto Rocky Hollow Road.  At the end of Rocky Hollow, I turned right and descended down toward the old dump site, past a sign that read "Dead End".  Appropriate sign for a dump, I guess, except that I don't believe in dead ends.
 
In this expansive universe there are no dead ends.  Trash gets recycled, one way or another, and the old dump itself has been transformed into the most beautiful spot in East Greenwich - Scalloptown Park & Wildlife Habitat.  A path leads south across twelve acres of grasses, clover, and other wildflowers, with a gorgeous view of the inner cove.  As I came upon the park a gaggle of geese started to make a lot of noise and then took flight assembling into their V formation.

 
While the path in Scalloptown Park comes to a circular dead end, I’m aware of plans by the Greenway to build a bridge across the small expanse of water that separates the park from Forge Road, so that walkers and bikers can continue on out toward Goddard Park. 

At the beginning of the path stands a large sign board.  I examined it to see what sorts of clues I might find about the area.  The sign stated:

"In the past 200 years the waterfront has run the gamut from slave trading to industrial fishing; from the Scalloptown scandal to a prime source of livelihood for the town; from a bustling port of entry to a yachtsman's dream of a safe harbor.  Without the bay we would have never been; for which we should be everlastingly grateful to those who first settled here."

-- Martha R. McPartland, longtime librarian of the East Greenwich Free Library


 Scallops from Cape Cod
 

The scallop is a Christian symbol of pilgrimage.  The pilgrim carried a scallop shell and would present himself at churches, castles or abbeys, where he could expect to be given as much sustenance as he could pick up with one scoop. 
  
Before colonists settled into the cove area, the Narragansett natives who inhabited the shores feasted on scallops and used scallop shells as bowls and scraping tools.  Later the Scalloptown area became the birthplace of the American Navy and a bustling center for shellfishing.  Over the years, however, the cove has filled in with silt and become too shallow to accomodate big boats.  Over the years, eel grass disappeared from the cove along with the scallops that depended on the eel grass.  Shellfish found in the area are now primarily quahogs.
  
   View of cove from park bench
   
While the path in Scalloptown Park comes to a circular dead end, I’m aware of plans by the Greenway to build a bridge across the small expanse of water that separates the park from Forge Road so that walkers and bikers can continue on out toward Goddard Park. 

Heading back out onto Rocky Hollow Road, I spotted two playing cards face down along the sidewalk.  Were they clues?  I wondered about their tarot meaning and picked them up, thinking I would research this later on.

   Collection of Clues
    

Turning left onto Upland behind Dunkin Donuts, I passed a truck lettered with Moone & Son.  Moon and sun?  It reminded me of a "word play" game we learned in grade school with homonyms, words that sound alike, but have different meanings.  Teams would create sentences with homonyms, and teams earned points by identifying homonyms for words in another team's sentence, OR you would score points by creating a word with a homonym that no other team could identify.

 

EXAMPLE: There are times when I write tales to amuse.
there, their, th'air; are, our, R; times, thymes; when, wen; I, aye, eye; write, right, rite, wright; tales, tails; to, too, two; amuse, a muse, a mews

Musing on this, I popped out onto the Post Road, which follows along what was once the Pequot Trail, a major trade route originally established by the Narragansett Indian Tribe.  Continuing south along the Post Road, I found a card lying on the sidewalk  - "IN MEMORY OF Marjorie "Marge" A. Russo.  March 11, 1952-December 30, 2009".  She died the exact same day as my mother-in-law, who passed away this past year after losing her battle with cancer.
 
Upon reaching the corner of Post and Forge roads, a heron flew up overhead from the direction of Scalloptown Park.  It reminded me of a piece of trash I'd seen earlier on my walk, and I headed back up Cedar Avenue towards home to see if I could retrieve it.   It was still there - a discarded empty cigarette package - Heron Ultra Lights: Native Premium Blend, Since 1794.  
 
Back at home, I went on line to research tarot card meanings, inputting "tarot" and "2 diamonds" onto the search bar.  One result showed that diamonds represent swords or air.... diamonds are also cards of intellect... the two of diamonds indicates peace and crossed swords... if you are reading tea leaves, crossed swords mean strategic action is required.  The six of diamonds indicates things getting better.

Looking up the symbolism of the Heron, I found "a beautiful creature of grace and noble stature."  Most Native American tribes took note of the heron's inquisitiveness, curiosity, and determination - a set of skills that sets the heron apart as a symbol of wisdom in that they show good judgment. 

 

Herons eat scallops and fish.  The Iroquois recognized the animal as an expert fisher and hunter, and as such believed that sighting a heron was a sign of good luck and a sign that the hunt would be a good one.  (The Hunt River estuary lies just 1/4 mile up Forge Road.)
  
  Heron takes flight
 
As a water creature, the heron is a symbol of going with the flow, and working with the elements of Mother nature, rather than struggling against her.  www.symbolic-meanings.com 
 

Word Play: There’s a hero in heron – hero - N. (How funny, my husband just now asked me how to spell the morphine drug heroin, as in quantitative easing is like giving the country a massive dose of heroin.  Synchronicity?  LOL)

What can be done to bring back scallops?  Read this Patch article.

Test your brain with this sentence filled with homonyms:
Our wise one flew high o'er the wood and out to sea.
Top students score 13 or higher.

The next story is about choices.

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