Yesterday’s specter-like fog thickened as it wove itself through the roads along the coastline so that in one moment an image was clear and in the next it had all but vanished. These were the conditions in which I drove to my beloved Schoodic Point. It was a bleak drive north on Route 1 and then 186 through Winter Harbor taking more than an hour. The fog’s mist was heavy enough that windshield wipers were needed, though it was not raining.
It had been twenty-four years since my last visit to Schoodic Point with my then husband, Arthur, who remains to this day one of my closest, dearest friends. Soon after we were divorced, I moved to Deer Isle, Maine for five years. During that time, I never returned to Schoodic. My first experience on the Point created a spiritual shift within that has only evolved and deepened over the years. However, I had a fear of returning for I knew it would have to be different as everything, in each moment, continues to change. Yet, I wanted it to be exactly the same as I remembered.
Rain poured in torrents the day that Arthur and I drove to Schoodic from a small, hidden village, Castine, where we were staying. I was irritable and had no interest in driving a few hours each way on such a bleak, wet day. But Arthur is an explorer and was not daunted by the rain or my complaining. In fact, as I write, he is at the “roof top” of the world at the border of Tibet on a challenging trek, foot and horseback when required, to see a monastery once again that he visited years ago.
Schoodic Point has a Scenic Byway, which is a one-way road. When Arthur and I first entered we saw nothing but this dark, single lane road shrouded with pine trees on both sides. Then the vista opened and we parked somewhere that probably was not legal but there was no one, absolutely no one, around except for hundreds of seagulls meandering in the rain on the vast, huge rock formations that are, quite simply, the rocks-of-time.
My dark mood morphed to brightness when I saw the view. Arthur reminded me about something I planned to do somewhere in Maine and said, “Lee Anne you brought special crystals with you. Why not rinse them in the salt water here?” This ritual of rinsing crystals in salt water presumably cleanses their negative energy. I carefully unpacked them from my bag, unfolded them from their woven Indian cloth wrappings, knelt down at a safe, small crevice, and began my solemn ceremony. The gulls hovered around and barely moved while I gently rinsed each crystal. I felt ‘right-sized’ once again. Some thing, perhaps only a chimera, but I think not, changed the still-point within. I was different yet I could not define it. Nor, was it necessary.
As I entered Schoodic Point yesterday, I was flooded with these memories and inwardly smiled when I saw the first of many images and scenes from twenty-four years ago. My heart pounded as I wended my way to the rocks-of-time. Yet, I took time to capture the classic Maine beauty one encounters when first entering Schoodic Point.
Continuing on the Byway, looking away from the Gulf of Maine, one sees several miles of this.
Schoodic is raw, rugged, and untouched except by the glaciers that carved, then smoothed, the rocks. At the main entrance to the rock formations and roaring surf, is this wide plateau of pink and red stone.
The surf pounds the shore, again and again and again …
The rocks sit as architectural monuments to time and nature. When Thomas Cole created his first paintings of this area and Mount Desert, the critics in New York lambasted his work saying that everyone knows the rocks on Maine’s coast are gray, not red or of other hues. How right Cole was; how wrong the critics.
The seagulls are important to the energy of this landscape called Schoodic. They are calm, elegant, and love to perform and pose. They are often in abundance, but not so yesterday. Those that were around, strutted, bathed, and posed for my camera.
A soul-sister died a long time ago and was much too young. She loved the shore and particularly the gulls. I’ve waited many years to capture exactly what I wanted for her. These are for you Carol ( and Jerry, for you too).
I walked carefully over the slippery rocks back to the car to begin my journey around the single-lane road. The other side of the road, rather than the ocean view, presented a lagniappe. I was so startled that I stopped the car in the middle of the road. I believe that myths and mystery are in every bog hidden deep within the intimacies of this quiet, unseen space.
I finally approached a two-way road just about to exit Schoodic and noticed the fog rolling towards me leaving this image in its path.
I felt relief, exhilaration, and exhaustion. I was now headed back on Route 1 south when I saw the sun struggling to come out. It seemed only to occur over this small Baptist church. What a peaceful gift at the end of a perfect day.
I spend the rest of today packing, for I am on the road tomorrow for an overnight in Kennebunkport. I hope you enjoyed my return to Schoodic Point as much as I did.