By Trent Batson
May 27, 2022
Years ago, one of our daughters took up residence on Ocean Avenue and I, a retired university professor, had the privilege of walking her dog at Stillhouse Cove when she and her husband were at work. I loved the Cove as did Calypso, the dog.
More recently, I’ve had another privilege — serving on the Board of the Edgewood Waterfront Preservation Association that maintains Stillhouse Cove. I’ve stepped down from the Board now but wanted to continue to contribute to the EWPA in some way. My current research work is about human evolution and climate change — and, in these blogs, I’ll write about how those two relate to the good work at Stillhouse Cove.
I am launching, with the support of the EWPA Board, a monthly series of blogs about Stillhouse Cove and resilience work as climate change presents ever greater challenges to that work. The EWPA has done model work on resilience in the Cove and this blog series celebrates that work while also describing the larger context of how humanity is dealing with the climate crisis.
What happens at Stillhouse Cove is a microcosm of shorelines around the world and so is well worth following.
Musing on the Cove
You can sit on a bench in Stillhouse Cove in Pawtuxet, Rhode Island, facing east, looking out over the bay, and watch the dawn break. Many do. Sometimes, in the rain. I told my granddaughter, when fog obscured the far shore, that the East Bay part of Rhode Island had floated away.
As you sit, song sparrows may sing or, in season, you may hear redwing blackbirds. You might see an Osprey bank over the water — or seagulls or cormorants — and geese or ducks feeding on the shoreline.
The sun reflecting off the Bay glitters. Dogs, walking their owners, sniff on by. Runners, silent on their feet, ghost past. Cars are surprisingly quiet as drivers slowly take in the scene.
In season, the sight of sailboats and “stinkpots” at the Yacht Club adds a sense of elegance and adventure.
Out in the channel, large freighters slip on down the bay, or churn up the Bay, heading for the Port of Providence.
And the Bay water, ever moving, full of life, remains unconcerned.
One can slip out of time sitting on that bench.