Oh Barbara Cooney, I miss you. It all comes back to me here on Mount Desert Island, growing up with Brook and Ethan, running Oz Books, all my dear friends and wonderful community.
I remember Barbara’s sense of humor, the gorgeous gardens at her Damariscotta home. When I was young and more anxious, she always told me that she needed times of quiet juxtaposed with creative, often frenetic, times. I listened to her, but it’s taken me years to achieve that need for quiet. And it’s hard when I’m here; I want to connect with all my dear friends.
My first day back was perfect. Southwest Harbor is the most beautiful place in the world — when the sun shines, the Atlantic lapping slabs of pink granite at Wonderland. My pal Martha and I lounged around by the sea, a velvet breeze gently massaging our faces. We talked about writing, and this and that, as old friends do. The beauty of this place is intoxicating.
Last night after having dinner at Maine-ly Delights with other dear friends, we strolled down the path by my house to the Cranberry Island dock, sat on a bench at the edge of the water with a blanket over our legs, gazing at the sunset. Was it real or a movie set? Gray streaks emerging from a V-shape turning to pink. A clear evening. We could see the fire tower on top of Beach Mountain. The sea mirrored the sky. What could we say that would match that beauty?
At home a half-hour after Ellen and Lucy left, I heard loud noises that interrupted my tea-drinking peacefulness.
Early fireworks over Somes Sound. Yippeee! I won’t have to trek over to Bar Harbor with the humungous crowds on Monday night. I got up automatically and walked out the door down the path by my house to Shore Road. Flash, flash, flash…fireflies all around the field. Kidness popped up, who knows when I last saw fireflies?
What a pleasure, leaving my house to the cool breeze, not hesitating to worry about being robbed while I was gone. Southwest Harbor — my other home.
For those of you who have never been here, I’ll post photos soon. My blog is about words, but this place is indescribable.
Better get out to Ship Harbor now. “A good man. A good life,” my friend the illustrious children’s author/artist Barbara Cooney wrote in her picture book “Island Boy.” Yes, I’m grateful to have such a good life.