Maps call Sagg Pond a lake. Sagg Pond may have once been a lake, but now it is securely a pond. Having spent the majority of the winter and spring “out,” meaning open to the Atlantic, the pond is both low and highly saline. This is why it smells so bad. It often smells bad, but this is a different kind of bad. The old bad was funk and raw, very animal. This is rotten, drying, harsh air that you don’t want to breathe in twice, where as the former kept you curious, not unlike scotch.Discussion about closing the pond was nixed due to the nesting location of some plovers. I don’t have time to go to the beach anymore, so I don’t know exactly where the happy couple is roughing it, but I am familiar with the location and their nesting habits, and there is no way they have a nest in the breach. A careful machine operator could do the job without riling the birds into abandonment. They are, after all, very dedicated to continuing their species too.
It’s been cold at night, in the 40s all last week, so the reek didn’t deter me as I wended my way to the bridge late Saturday night. Why I go here, as opposed to the beach, is because the sensation of standing over the water is so different from being at the water. On the ocean, you cease to exist; here, you commune.
A few lights burned in the mansions, but the moon that had been just a sickle at 7 was gone, and the sky was black, a cloak for stars alone. I have seen the pond reflect the day, especially sunset, a perfect mirror of up and down that in photographs can be hard to tell. But I had never seen it so perfectly borrow the night. The light was not on the surface, but perhaps because the pond is so shallow, it appeared to shine up from a foot below the surface, twinkling points of light that a more drunk person might try to scoop-net out.
One of the reasons it is so hard to save things for aesthetic purposes is that we seldom agree on the aesthetic itself. For some, Sagg Bridge is idyllic, iconic, if inconvenient, so much the better for its nonconformity. But for others, it is just a pesky bridge, in need of upgrading. On one hand, it is nice to hear our mayor throw down and use the words “eminent domain”; on the other, it seems implausible that it has come to such an irrationally large disagreement.
Everyone involved here should be able to go away happy. We’ve got E-ZPass. The village can buy at an inflated price, pegged to future toll monies. It is not a model that doesn’t exist. This should satisfy the administrators—let them get paid for, rather than pay for, this kerfuffle.