Each year, Labor Day Weekend seems to sneak up before anyone realizes it. The long weekend marks the official end of the fleeting summer season here on Cape Cod, as nights become cooler and visitors pack up and prepare for that last trek back over the bridge. On Saturday, WCAI’s Brian Morris was at a West Falmouth beach for a unique end-of-summer celebration.
It happens like clockwork right around 5:30 PM. Hordes of beachgoers gather up their coolers, beach chairs and umbrellas and head up to the parking lot – time for a quick shower back at the house, dinner, then maybe hit up the local ice cream place one last time.
But some people linger at the beach – savoring the softening light as day slips into dusk. On Saturday, as most of the crowds were leaving, a group of about 20 people made their way down to Chapoquoit Beach in West Falmouth. They formed a loose circle, spread out blankets, and began setting up large white bowls of various sizes. The bowls are made of a quartz crystal called selenite. Most of them are made in China.
Falmouth resident Nicki Lemarbre organized the beach gathering.
“I use selenite and sound to help people de-stress,” LeMarbre said. “I do guided meditations all over the country…mostly in Massachusetts. And we had the idea of getting crystal singing bowl players together to do free, kind of, music jams. We decided to do it at sunset, and I’ve done a couple in Falmouth. This is our fourth one.”
Beautiful late-season weather has kicked in: setting sun with a light breeze – just enough to keep the bugs away - and dry as a bone, as if a huge hand had come along and swept away all the summer haze and humidity.
Laura Mayhew drove from Framingham to be here. She gently scraped across the edge of one of her bowls with a wand.
“They’re made from a little bit of suede over rubber, and these are the actual mallets, and they make a little bit different sound when you play,” she said.
Mayhew reached over to pick up a much smaller, Tibetan-style bowl called a “dolphin bowl.” There’s a small amount of water in the bottom of the bowl, and she swished it around after striking the bowl with a mallet.
“You have to strike before you can play it, to get the dolphins to sing,” Mayhew said.
Nicki Lemarbre gets the word out about these gatherings via her website and a Facebook page.
“A lotta the people traveled from pretty far away. Jody’s from Carver, and then Paul’s from the lower Cape, Michele is from Cambridge, Laura’s from Framingham. So it’s really amazing that they came down on this weekend,” LeMarble said.
Lemarbre jokes that she gets people high for a living – but she does it legally.
“Because after 90 minutes of this, people are just like ‘Yessss!’ They walk in with the weight of the world, and they leave just flying high,” LeMarbre said.
People began to gather at the edge of the parking lot overlooking the beach. They came to watch the sunset, and this evening that postcard view has a soft musical soundtrack of singing bowls to accompany it.
Nicki LeMarbre said couldn’t have asked for a better end-of-summer evening.
“Oh my gosh, it’s so beautiful. It just gets better and better. Yeah…really happy,” LeMarbre said with a satisfied smile.