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.
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.
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.