PORTLAND – I can’t get places I thought I was going, which is how this day on Rosh Hashana is unfolding.

It’s past 1 o’clock and I’m still not home, five hours after setting out on what was meant to be a short morning walk.

I’d settled on a bench near Ocean Gateway, enjoying looking over Casco Bay to South Portland, past the lighthouse at Spring Point and on out to sea.

The view is as yet unobstructed by a humongous aircraft carrier being considered for mooring here at the terminal, marveling too at a blue canvas of sky, making notes in my journal.

A passenger jet grows in the distance, banking overhead on its flight path for the jetport. There’s a call on my mobile phone, my daughter wishing me “Shana tova,” the traditional Hebrew greeting on Rosh Hashana for a “good year,” or “shana tova umetukah,” a “good and sweet year.”

That plane rumbling overhead, traveling from I-don’t-know-where at I-don’t-know-how-many-hundreds-of-miles-an-hour, passes just above where I am sitting. Somehow, the world has found me: first my daughter, calling from New Jersey.

Then, “Martin!” a voice calls out, and I am being greeted by young friends some yards off on a school outing.

Then a man appears, sits down on the bench and introduces himself.

“This is from my pocket,” he says, holding up some cotton fuzz between two fingers. “I come here to cast it on the waters. On Rosh Hashana,” he says, “it’s the custom to throw bread or pebbles into the water, to symbolize the ‘casting off’ of sins. I throw detritus from my pockets, which is just as good.”

The panorama here has grown, including — in my mind, anyway — local politics around Portland’s deep harbor, Judaism and a sky so grand it holds several weather patterns, a brood of clouds over South Portland, a great swath of luminous blue over the islands to the east, dark thunderclouds to the west, and behind more open, blue sky.

I’ve moved on from conversation and school friends to another shoreline bench, this one guarded by a bigger-than-life statue of George Cleave, the trader credited with founding Portland, the toe of one giant foot over the last “e” in his name.

A cool wind blows in over the harbor, a few light drops of rain and at the same time sun on the back of one hand, which holds down the page as I write.

Fitting sanctuary for a writer, I think, the inscription on Cleave’s monument reading, “He believed in the persuasion of words and not the sword.”

Many weathers along this morning’s walk, which has turned into something of a journey.

How wonderful, living in a city you can see the sky 360 degrees around, a canopy to hold all weathers at once, big and beautiful enough maybe to stagger an armada of atheists.