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FirstLight Smith Island Diary: Day 1


Twilight on Smith Island, Maryland. Details: Olympus E-P1. 14-35mm lens @ 24mm, 40 sec. exposure at f9, ISO 100.

Greetings from Smith Island, Maryland, the site for the latest FirstLight workshops. Yesterday, we rode the ferry from Cristfield, MD to Smith Island on rough seas. The ferry captain, Larry, has made the trip across the channel separating Smith Island from the mainland some 27,000 times since he started keeping track. Despite the rough seas, Larry expertly piloted into the harbor in Tylerton, one of three small communities on the island.

In the afternoon, the instructor corps consisting of FirstLight founder Jay Dickman, Dave Harp, Becky Dickman and myself began preparing for the attendee’s arrival on Sunday evening. Our home for the workshop is in the town Fire hall. Upon our arrival at the firehall we were greeted by Sally, the island’s EMT, president of the Fire hall and caretaker of the cemetery. As to be expected in a village of 50 year round residents, everyone is called upon to perform a variety of duties to serve the good of the community.

Yesterday, most of the village attended a wedding on the mainland leaving Tylerton feeling very empty. The cold wind and gray skies made the town feel very desolate, a sharp contrast to the warm personalities we met upon our arrival. Today, I’m glad to see the island brought back to life and the sunny skies restore the warmth of the island.

Even after only a few hours on the island, I can tell Smith Island is a special place. Looking out across the dock with the bay stretching beyond, I can see the lights from Washington D.C. illuminating the clouds. Although our nation’s capital is physically only forty miles away, psychically, the two places are worlds apart.


One comment for “FirstLight Smith Island Diary: Day 1”

  1. Sounds like heaven. Have a great workshop…and a crab cake for me!

    Posted by Mark Osler | October 13, 2009, 8:51 am

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