WELLFLEET – Morning in America starts here.
At the eastern edge of the continent, the crescent moon fades and the sky begins to lighten, revealing majestic yellow cliffs of sand overlooking a noisy, rambunctious sea. It is a little after 5 am. We live on a big, round ball. Here and now, I can feel it turning.
The air is chilly, and the wind brisk. Here comes the sun. It’s arriving here first. An entire nation will soon see this ritual beginning to the day. But they won’t see it like this, not this symphony.
As the orange ball peaks out from the horizon, an orange line straight from it begins to glow over the crashing waves. The dunes start to dance with shades of yellow, while the view north, up the beach toward Truro, is an infinite vista of white beach and white sky. But straight east, the sun seems to be throwing orange paint all the way from some artist’s studio in France. This is an impressionist painting, and I am impressed.
This stretch of beach at the northern end of Wellfleet goes on for miles in either direction. It is deserted, not a soul in sight. There is no one else from the entire nation at this Wellfleet town beach on the Cape Cod National Seashore. The national seashore is my personal seashore.
Thoreau walked here, but so did the average Joe and Flo, and now it is mine alone. This really is a national seashore. It is vast and perfect – for a picnic, or a prayer. In the morning, with an entire nation waiting a turn, this beach welcomes the sun to America.
— Brian Tarcy