The Quiet After The Storm
The beautiful view of the north side of Indian River Inlet's Coin Beach or The Cove from the old inlet bridge
Indian River Inlet ~ The Quiet After The Storm
by Ellen Rice
I first glimpsed the view from Indian River Inlet Bridge near Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, as a teenager on the back of a motorcycle in the early 1960s. It was on a dare and the one and only time I ever road one. It took more than an hour to comb out my hair, but it was worth it. I loved every minute of the ride.
What I most clearly remember is the awe I felt heading back to Rehoboth as we crested the inlet bridge. Unobstructed loveliness – sea grasses blowing gently, a lowering late afternoon sun warming sand that stretched as far as the eye could see, patches of sunlight and shadow changing the color of the ocean. I breathed deeply and felt a sense of joy that is hard to describe. As long as that bridge stood, it felt the same every single one of the countless times I crested that bridge over the next five decades.
My late husband frequently commented that I should paint the view from the bridge, that others would appreciate it as much as we did, and he was right. “The Quiet after the Storm,” a 24” x 36” pastel painting, was completed in 1996. Quite unintentionally, the prints of this painting debuted two years to the day after my husband’s death, on his birthday. I felt it was a beautiful commemoration to what good in life we shared.
The prints debuted at the first open house of the Indian River Life Laving Station, which was also very special. Never in the world as I was growing up, getting married and starting a family could I have envisioned being involved in such a project. Life is strange with its twists and turns, as a favorite poem, Don’t Quit, tells.
The Life-Saving Station’s condition is another thing my husband and I used to discuss a lot as we traveled along coastal highway over the years and watched its slow decline, wondering what would ever become of it. He often said, “I wish someone would do something with that building. It’s such a shame what is happening to it.”
It was after I crested the bridge one day early in October 1996 and approached the station’s driveway on the way to a meeting about the upcoming fundraising open house and saw for the first time the large brown and white State of Delaware sign proclaiming proudly, “Restoration Project” that it all came home to me.
October 13 – opening day, the result of three years of groundwork on the part of 10 founding board members, myself included, culminating on this of all days, my husband’s birthday, and his desired painting’s debut the same day. I think he would have been proud. Perhaps he is.