Wild as I am

This year’s wild blueberries lined my solitary walk around Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor yesterday. Today it’s fall on Mount Desert Island — not quite 70 degrees, breezy and gorgeous.


A few nights ago, sipping rather large “wild” blueberry/raspberry vodka drinks with friends at the Claremont boat house, one of my favorite places on the island, I felt a little wild. Maybe my wacky outfit says it all — yup, see the purple patent leather shoes I snagged at Marden’s for $2.99? 


Have you done anything “wild” this summer? Like beauty, “wild” is in the eye of the beholder. Take Cheryl Strayed’s new book, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.” Hiking more than 1,000 miles alone appeals to me — in my imagination.

It took Strayed a lot longer to write the book than her six months on the trail more than 15 years ago, when she was 27. Trudging through ice and snow, carrying her humongous pack that she deemed “Monster” on her back, was a life-affirming accomplishment of the magnitude that often carries men who were soldiers through the years. Surpassing fear and surviving.

Although Strayed didn’t think she was well-organized, she was to me, thoroughly studying her guidebook, equipping herself with the proper tools and mailing new supplies to herself along the way. I was happy when she finally got the next size hiking boots. Jeez, her feet were a mess, but she kept on going. At one point she hiked in duct-tape booties!

I admire her discipline. What I admire even more was her choice to overcome fears along the way, not that she always succeeded. When the “Three Young Bucks” (hunky young guys) she befriended on the trail name her “The Queen of the PCT” because “people always want to give you things and do things for you.” Strayed realizes, “I had nothing but generosity to report.”

I like that. And at the end of her book she discovers that you may never know what you really learned until years later.

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6 Responses to Wild as I am

  1. Dan says:

    I can’t get over the magnificence of that pond picture.

  2. On the wild side… yes, it may be easier to come by for folks like me with a little one still demonstrating, daily, what wild and free spirited might look like. I am treasuring all of these summer days, and days of being led to the beach to make shrines and collect heart rocks. Great seeing you, love the purple!

  3. Arlyn says:

    Yes, it all sounds lovely. Those crazy drinks, purple shoes, a nice photo and interesting book. It’s hot and humid and big storms in your hometown, nice in its own southwestern way.

  4. Arlyn says:

    Ahh, you want to know if I have done anything crazy this summer. Yes, I would have to say that I did. We own a 1943 Tucson style hand built cottage and rent it out. So after the last tenant left, a lovely girl who was there for 6 years, I decided it needed paint and some fixing up. I should never have looked at the doors, and ceiling and cupboards. I should have blindly painted. It has been a labor of love (parents lived in it years ago) because it took days and days of work: i.e., patching, sanding, painting, repainting, new skylight, scraping down the swollen doors (high monsoon humidity). This was really crazy. I am going up north in 10 days and look forward to getting out of this pueblo. Enjoy your beautiful island. Being a former Bostonian and having traveled through all of the New England states extensively (with the exception of all islands), I have a pretty good idea of just how idyllic your stay there is. Yes, lobster, rocky coast, cool air, cold water, pine trees, grey skies, planting things that will actually grow….delightful.

  5. Sharon Osborne says:

    Nice blog Sheila–and that picture (Jordan Pond, is it?) IS MAGNIFICENT. i am sure you are enjoying your time on MDI in those shoes! Are we meeting on the 12th? Sharon

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