The newlyweds are honeymooning on the island of Corsica. The big sister and her husband are packing up to move south.
One of us old folks has aches and pains. We’re both getting a lot of sleep, hanging out, reading.
We pretend to be locals, trying to speak with a downeast accent and driving around to see what’s new. Have they finished paving Main Street in Southwest Harbor? How low is the tide at Seawall? What new restaurants are in Bar Harbor this year?
Oh, it’s all so relaxing. But shouldn’t I be climbing mountains? Or is walking Wonderland or Ship Harbor — two of my favorite places — enough (for what)?
Sometimes I wonder: Do I have have less energy because I’m old? Is too much relaxation boring, or is it good for me? Am I undisciplined?
On Friday a dear friend told me a Buddhist teacher’s observation that we humans spend so much time “dragging around our thoughts.” One benefit of being older is that I’m not as anxious as I used to be.
I’ve only climbed Flying Mountain so far.
Still, it feels like vacation. Waking up every morning to sunrise, I sit up in bed and pull my lilac-covered quilt up (it’s been chilly, in the low to mid-40s by early morning). Looking out my bedroom window, I see the harbor, hear lobster boats chugging by. I see Greening Island in the distance, the old white cape that’s been there forever. The shape of the mountains against the sky, risen from the ocean, is always a different painting.
I look. Then, happily, I fall back to sleep.
We’ve been here two weeks. First, lilacs bloomed all over the island in time to wish the newlyweds bon voyage after their amazing wedding week. For this — my birthday week– fields of lupines are everywhere. Later this month wild roses will be ubiquitous.