REST AND REFLECTION
It’s my 75th birthday. It’s a monumental day.
Southwest Harbor, Maine, is home. I’m here for another three weeks before returning to Tucson to pack my art work and photos, special books and dishes, and a few colorful Turkish and Mexican rugs.
I’m moving to Minneapolis. My son and daughter-in-law, two grand babies, and grand puppy are there. Going back to the cold, but it doesn’t matter. I’ll have a bigger life.
My Maine month has been so happy. I’ve been hiking with dear friends and by myself.
Why not? I’m feeling so flexible, I’m in such decent shape.
I’ll tackle Acadia Mountain, I thought yesterday. I haven’t been there in at least four years since MTD and I came across a squawking fawn sitting amidst the lush green growth without its mother. Poor thing. I got closer to look for injuries but there were none that I could see.
Making our way down the mountain, the fawn was gone. We called a park ranger when we got to the car.
I’ve been curious about that small creature. What happened? How did the rest of its life go?
Climbing Acadia yesterday seemed so much easier than four years ago…I was so proud of myself. I’ve put in the time in Tucson over the past eighteen years — walking, hiking, yoga, Pilates, short exercise breaks like a recent NYT article advised.
Still, scurrying down those boulders on the way down Acadia wasn’t a good idea. Big rains saturated the island a few days ago. Was I being careful enough? Probably not. I slipped on the slick rock, grounding myself on my right ankle. I heard a crack.
Sitting there, repeating, “Shit, shit, shit,” my faith in humanity was upheld. At least two young couples came along kindly asking if they could help me (what was this old lady with purple streaks in her gray hair doing there?).
I like to think I’m fine when I’m not. These past weeks of alone time and good friend time, taking in the beauty of mountains rising from the sea, feeling my strength, culminated in recognizing a need for change.
“I’m fine, thanks, I’m fine,” I said, but I hadn’t stood up yet. I stood when the next young couple climbed over the boulders. I felt a little wobbly. I could feel my ankle swelling like a balloon. Each of the young folks hooked an arm in mine, helping me back to my car.
Onward to Mt. Desert Island Hospital where 165 Seawall Road, my home for twenty-five years, still showed up in their database. A nurse I knew thirty years ago ambled into the hospital treatment room to chat.
Is this not home? I’m happy to have lived in the Southwest, the heat, all that sunshine.
I’ll return on July 4, Independence Day, to pack up my stuff. Headed toward cold weather again, in my trusty ocean blue Prius. I’ll be in the cold again but near the warmth of family. I’ll be in life.