Leaving Maine for a life of Adventure
For the past moon, two fortnights or 30 days depending on your show of time I was in Maine staying at my parents home. For the first time in many years I was quite content. For the first time in months, I got to drop my guard and simply live and smile. Their home, a safe home, is on a small river next to a forest grove upon a peninsula in southern Maine. Every day when I felt I needed some alone and peace I would walk to the woods, to the river and enjoy the natural rhythm of nature. A rhythm that like a metronome, sets my own internal clockwork and peaceful movement.
There were many early mornings that the frost formed on the reeds, and froze the ordinarily wet marshes that were alive with the songs of frogs and red winged blackbirds in the summer a solid and peaceful tone of silence. You could hear the sound of nature as the light breeze caressed the dried reeds into almost a whisper like sound. As I would weave my way through the delicate marshland I would see where a white tailed deer had rested the prior evening. I could see the delicate tracks of the river’s industrious beaver making their way to the young stand of alders to supplement their winter food. Making my way up from the marsh into the tall pine grove I could hear the sounds of chickadees, the Maine state bird, sounding overhead forty to fifty feet over my head in the forest crown. By this time the sun was making it’s skyward progression and beginning to transform the cold frost to a fire like mist which came into the forest and added to the trees which were silhouetted against the slanted rays of the sun creating an almost surreal faerie-like landscape. Going further into the forest I would make my way through the grove of tall white and red pines, ancient cherry, balsam fir, and eventually into an old apple grove by a large stone wall built by tired hand by those long past. Coming close to a tree I would lean in and carefully smell it, the sharp yet sweet smell brought solace and a memory of warmer and greener days of summers past. Looking closer at the apple I could see where the same deer who rested in the marsh below had eaten the tender young branches. Upon the ground, hoof prints were pressed into the soft moss covered ground where the deer stood high to reach the more difficult to reach offerings. Out past the apples, by the large bolder left behind during the last ice age and patiently waiting to be picked up again in the next I would emerge from the woods to the field and down to the bend in the river where the beavers had built two dens, one large and one small. Further down stream they had created a dam as well which threatened to make an island where a old bench stood on a frost berm, yet kept the water level up at their dens. Coming back to the house I would pass the horses, eagerly awaiting their morning feed, the chickens awaiting access to the large world and offering me one or two of their still warm eggs. To the house I would go to finish off my coffee and make breakfast. Life was good while my time there lasted but as it goes nothing stays the same.
I am now in southern Pennsylvania with, in the suburbs. These buildings and developments are not designed to integrate with nature. I feel detached here, there are no great trees, only fences. No feel of connection to the wild, just commercial buildings like Cabela’s marketing the outdoor experience. Ribbons of asphalt meander into farm fields which in turn have signs advertising house lots. The evening sky which was so dark and full of stars in the north has an orange pale glow from many empty parking lots, only showing the truly exuberant celestial bodies. The area is not my place , my place is where I am small, where my existence and humanity pales to the natural world around me. Where the trees tower above my head, the rivers reach to be able to drown me if they so chose, mountains so tall it would be all but impossible to climb, where I am not the top of the food chain and sky so big and clear to only humble me in my existence.
That is where I must go…….that is where I will be happy…that is where I wish to rest my head one final time.