I saw my dear friend, Susanna, yesterday. The brief time we planned to be together unfolded from an hour to a full afternoon. It had been six years since we last saw one another, yet there was not a pause nor a false start to our conversation. We merely picked up where we left off, did some grocery shopping at the local food co-operative, and bought candles and incense. However, my plans to hike around Southwest Harbor never occurred and my camera laid on the passenger seat in my car. What emerged though out of this visit with Susanna was that one week here was not enough for me to do the work I hoped and planned to do. I called the realtor who rented me the cottage in which I am currently residing only to find that it was not available next week. She did find a house in Bass Harbor and though the house is modest, the view is not. I visited there after I signed the lease to discover a private dock.
I spent the day in, around, and through both Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor. I spoke with many people, met many dogs of all sorts and sizes, ate a blueberry tart that was a religious experience and took pictures I did not expect to take.
This house caught my attention. It is on Main Street in Southwest Harbor. Grand, old, and noble.
The large homes, and small, all have these voluptuous brown-pink hydrangeas. They are everywhere and happen to be one of my favorite flowers. I could not resist.
I changed my lens to a macro and experimented with this vision.
The blueberry tart weighed heavily on my mind even though I walked three miles in the morning. I knew I had to hike before I lost important light and I needed to make a dent into some of those blueberry tart calories I consumed. I drove a few miles on what seemed a back road and came across a trail called The Shipyard. It said it was 1.3 miles and I knew I could easily do that. What I did not know was that the trail, in fact, comprised a figure eight loop. I got turned around again and again and saw no one on the path for some time. However, a couple eventually emerged from the opposite direction and told me I had to retrace my steps to get to the parking area. During all of my looping though, my camera was in hand and I saw this image, which reminded me of a painting from the Hudson River School.
Bass Harbor has a Head Lighthouse that I thought I would investigate. As some of you know, I am a contrarian at times and while I would love to present the Lighthouse here, I saw some other things that took precedence, at least for today. The walkway to the Lighthouse is rustic and unkempt … a rough, imperfect beauty.
And this small outbuilding stood along the walkway to the Lighthouse. Its burnt-sienna color against the greens, blues, and softened hues of the grasses reminded me of another time in another place.
As I departed Bass Harbor and drove on yet another less traveled road, I pulled off to watch the gulls and crows fly free with total abandonment. Two people joined me, we chatted, and they were so interested in my work that they told me about lesser known paths and trails they discovered in their forty years of vacationing in Southwest Harbor. This was so gracious and unexpected. As they departed, I looked up to see the singular beauty of sky, mountains, and trees. I sent a silent hosanna to the heavens as I took my final picture of the day.
I often wonder at the end of a day if I fulfilled my purpose. I never really know but I am pleased with my efforts this day. I met fine people, played with wonderful dogs named Otis, Jack, Kelly, and Miranda, ate good food, enjoyed the beauty of Maine, and gave thanks to our beloved planet.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
There are ways of seeing and sensitivities of knowing
hidden deep within the palace of the soul.
That I may give voice to what I hear in my soul
and be changed for the healing of the world,
that I may listen for truth in every living soul
and be changed for the well-being of the world.
~ Excerpted from J. Philip Newell, Sounds of the Eternal