I feel like Ms. Rumphius…I’m so lucky

   A highlight of summer in Maine is relaxation. I’ve relaxed so much this year that I  feel tired. Maybe there’s something wrong with me. Is this what relaxation feels like? I’ve been spending a lot of time looking out the window in my lilac-covered bed.

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True, I’m feeling my age more than ever, now that I’m 68. Can’t run up mountains as fast as I used to. This morning I went for a bike ride. Came home and felt energized so I started getting the house ready for me to leave at the end of the week, which lasted a short time before it was time to relax again.

Why not recount my comings and goings on Mount Desert Island this past month? Wonderful 4th of July week visit with Brook and Gian. Held a book-launch party for poet friend Weslea Sidon. Wonderland/Ship Harbor/Wonderland/Ship Harbor — probably walked each trail at least a half-dozen times (sat on the rocks at least twice enjoying long conversations with friends).

Gazing at the water is a prime activity…sparkling, rolling, crashing, calm. Only went swimming once — so far — in the velvety Somes Pond.

Four hikes. Three evenings having drinks at the new Claremont Boat House. Four or five crab rolls. Two dinners at Maine-ly Delights. No movies at Reel Pizza for the first time ever (nothing remotely decent playing).

On Tuesday, I’ll be hopping on the Cranberry Island ferry at the dock behind my house. Taking the short ride to Islesford to celebrate the opening of the Ashley Bryan Center. Ashley is a children’s author/artist/old friend — not because he turned 91 on July 13. He’s always been a shining role model of how much kinder human beings ought to treat each other.

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My family of friends: Ashley is one I’ve known for at least 25 years. Visiting  another dear friend, who’s surrounded by this same family of friends, was a highlight of my summer. She has a brain tumor. Her smile was as radiant as ever. We went for a walk. “I want to show you something pretty,” she told me, leading me down a dirt road into the woods.


Later, as I was getting into my car to go, she opened her screen door and called out, “Hey Sheila!”

“I love you,” she said.

“I love you too,” I told her, watching her go inside.

I’ll leave this remarkable place on Friday and return to my desert home. I’ve done what I’ve felt like doing, not as much running around as usual. I feel more grounded. I feel so lucky.

Shall I indulge in one more lobster at Thurston’s? I think so.

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9 Responses to I feel like Ms. Rumphius…I’m so lucky

  1. Dan Cobbledick says:

    that was a really nice one – good evoking of place and mood

  2. Claire says:

    Mmmmm…. Sounds lovely. I guess the month passed by a bit too quickly. But sounds like you absorbed a good bit of goodness and calm. I’m searching for more than a bit of that when I visit next week. Never been swimming in Somes Pond,,,,,but there’s always the other favorite places.

  3. sheilawill says:

    Thanks Dan! I’ll be happy to be back in my other home with you, although I’ve had a wonderful time coming home here.

  4. sheilawill says:

    Yes, Claire. I’m sure you can empathize…I’ve felt like relaxing and have done so but wanting to do more, more, more tugs at me. Less and less as I get older.

  5. sheilawill says:

    Somes Pond has the warmest water on the island. The land is privately owned. They just started not allowing dogs in the water. So nice to know you’ll have a wonderful time while staying in my house. I’m at favorite spot now, watching the boats go by!

  6. Rachel says:

    So glad you’ve had a lovely visit. I’m guessing my summer more closely mirrors yours from 20 years ago when your store was humming with tourists from open to close. Looking forward to my peaceful summers here in the future and am very glad to have you describe them for me in beautiful detail. Sorry to have missed you on this visit but hope to see you soon.

  7. Sheila Lepley says:

    Oh, yes do eat at least one more lobster roll and enjoy the sparkling water. I wonder how warm the water is at Somes. What a treat. The woodsy picture is just as I imagined, and I can smell the heat of the sun on the pines. Are there lupines around your house, Ms. Rumphius? Certainly one of my favorite children’s books. Enjoy every minute of your remaining stay there.

  8. sheilawill says:

    Thanks Sheila! “Miss Rumphius” is my favorite book. Barbara Cooney and I became friends after she did her first signing of it at my Oz Children’s Bookstore. What a role model she was! I saw the last fields of lupines when I arrived on July 1. They’re out for around three weeks in mid-late June. No lobster roll for me; we Mainers must attack the entire beast. Ok, I’ll have one more…

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