Sunday, July 14, 2019
I’m here as of yesterday at 4:00, yet I am still arriving and arriving. The journey north from home to Kittery was long and arduous! Ten hours, very high- speed traffic, then miles and miles of stop and go requiring strict attention. It just took a long time and a lot of patience. I needed to pay such close attention to everything around me that I didn’t feel like listening to anything, no music, no tape nor CD, nothing that would draw my attention inward and thus distract me and have my attention drift from the roadway.
Fortunately, Lila is a terrific traveler and wonderful, albeit, emotional companion! We communicate so well with each other. She reads my every move, and I read her and ably discern her needs and wants.
From Kittery we had another 4 ½ hours. Deer Isle is a long way from home! We stopped in Blue Hill, as planned, to get groceries and acquired just the basics. I managed to slip in a lovely visit with Jennifer Downs and her family, including her charming dad, 93-year-old Jerry! He taught at Gilman for 39 years and remembers Timmy Baker well.
So, here: 28C Coles Point Road. Butler Cottage on Hatch Cove. To say that it exceeds my expectations would be an understatement. As beautiful and charming as last years’ French Camp was, this is equally quaint and charming – in miniature. A darling cottage built on a slab of granite right on the edge of the water with open sky, water dotted by small uninhabited islands. Inside – oh my! So delightful and so Maine.
I unpacked the car, put everything away finding enough shelves and hooks for all my stuff. Created a puja tray in the living room on an old wooden lobster trap, lit some incense – and just took it all in. John called and I could hardly contain my delight! I was surprised to realize that I was experiencing some conflicting emotions. On the one hand I have planned to be here alone for a week, and then a second week at the next cottage at Sand Beach. And now that I am here it feels selfish to exclude him from enjoying the charm and magic of this cottage. In truth, he would be bored, and once I get connected to the Internet, I can share with him the photos and videos I took upon my arrival.
Yes, I am still arriving. I am still getting used to the quiet. At times it is utterly silent and then I note the wind in the trees, the occasional bird call, the deep throated sound of a lobster boat, the lapping of the water as the tide moves in. Visually, so lovely: the green moss that covers the low boulders on the forest’s edge, the dainty wildflowers, the perfection of how all the colors of the waters merge beautifully in a tapestry of sublime beauty. I am letting all of it simply settle in and fill my senses.
Tuesday July 16, 2019
Slowly I am settling in and getting more of a sense of how to use this gift of time and place. I am surprised at how disoriented I have been feeling since my arrival! Yet, I shouldn’t be. What was I thinking? I have hauled the particulars of my life up here to the Maine Coast, to precious Deer Isle, items large and small to support me for two weeks here alone with Lila. (plus a third week with John, Phoebe and the kids!)
Large and small: nail clippers and emery board, books, writings to revise, essays to sort through, condiments, electronic devices, incense and sage, radio, yoga mat, dog biscuits and poop bags, flash light, my mind and my heart. I have everything I need.
Yet, still I feel odd. I question: “What am I doing here? What is this experiment I’m engaged in?” Yes, I am an introvert – and this is a very introverted experience!
I am developing a rhythm: Up early, Lila assures me of that, feed her, back to bed for a short time to stretch and relocate myself from my dream life and where I was before bed, then up, coffee, straighten up, short poop walk, light breakfast, yoga and perhaps meditate, then an outing – off leash walks. Back by late morning – lunch, settle in to read or write or edit – for a few hours, often listen to music or NPR; just yesterday afternoon we went for a second walk to the trail by the Lilly Pond – gives Lila more exercise and me a break for my brain! Make dinner, check email, early to bed, sleeping and dreaming well! No two days are the same – yet these are the the elements.
I’m beginning to develop a keener eye for my surroundings: noticing smaller details like the timing of the rising and fall of the tide, lobster boat activity- different depending on the day, how the light on the water changes the atmosphere and mood.