More than twenty years ago, someone who would become a dear friend, gave to me a new copy of this book as a memento of a two-family beach trip to Lewes, DE. Recently, my husband and I decided to take a winter weekend break – to the ocean (which I love in winter!) – to Lewes. After returning, I pulled this book from our shelves and began to re-read it. Having spent many summers in Lewes with family and friends, the words felt like meeting old friends again – Savannah Road, Cape Henlopen. Again, I am impressed by this lovely tribute to not only this particular geographic location, but by the author’s love of nature as home. In her beginning pages she writes,
“There is not a great deal on this coast that recalls the landscape of my childhood. My roots lie in the interior, in rolling deciduous woodlands. Few of us have the privilege of living as adults in the place we lived in as children. Even fewer of us die where we were born. I have moved eight times in the last nine years.”
Continuing with a personal narrative about her years spent in Lewes, Ackerman interweaves Lewes’s extraordinary history, the science of the dunes, shoreline, plant growth throughout the hurricanes, pollution crisis, along with noting the scientists, especially orinithologists, who have studied life in this small town’s important coastline.
If you have ever visited Lewes or hope to, or just love the life of a coastline, I encourage you to read her tribute to this landscape of her heart. Out of print, an available for a penny, you can only gain a understanding – whether empathetic or scientific.
Ackerman, Jennifer, and Karen Groz, illus. Notes From the Shore. New York: Viking, 1995. Print.