I always get homesick, this time of year. I have fond memories of July in Maine, many festivals in my town and surrounding cities. I know I live in a beautiful area as well, but there is a peaceful, serene solitude on the shore line of Maine vs. the Outer Banks. The closest city to us, doesn't have a parade on the 4th; Every little town in Maine practically does. The 4th here is quieter, different... I grew up on a side street near the town warf. There is also a cottage street, with many wonderful summer homes and views of the bay. You could see the bay from our glassed in front porch and my bed room. Time has planted a different view. A huge weeping willow now blocks view of Penobscot Bay from my Mom's porch...we spent many summer nights, swinging on the porch glider, playing the guitar and singing. She had a huge red table on the end of the porch, so we could enjoy the eating outdoor feel, while not be attacked by black flies. We had many tea parties and it was a great place to play, when my brother n' I were small, especially rainy days! I can remember a refrigerator boxes keeping us entertained for months. We made it a house, a gas station pump and then later, climbed inside, close the lid and leaned so we could flip it over. We were sad, when it was worn out.
We lived about 1/4 ml from the shore. We weren't aloud to go down there alone, til we reached a certain age, you had to be able to swim, before your feet could ever set foot on the warf alone, and you could never swim alone. When my Dad replaced the door on our front porch, with a screened one, our home became our summer camp. We pretty much lived at the shore. I can't tell you how many hours, I either swam, looked for shells, especially sand dollars. When older I rode my bike to the warf, to see who was there, who was catching fish, or to see the jelly fish attached to one of the side floats. Lobster boat races, street dances, parades, were down near the warf. It was magic, but for me the real magic was the shore, itself,
digging for clams, helping the little ones find baby crabs(we put them back), the shells, the discussions we over heard from our parents. There were a lot of smiles and a few tears, tears because children did not want to leave.
Yesterday, I found my copy of the book, "Gift From The Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I was an adult, when I first read this amazing book. Some of her wisdom, did not yet apply, I wasn't in that stage of life, the middle years, but now I can fully appreciate and so connect with her view. For those of you that haven't read it, she connects certain shells she finds on the beach, with different phases of her life. "I have only clues, shells from the sea. The bare beauty of the channelled welk tells me that one answer, and perhaps a first step, is in simplification of life, in cutting out some distractions. But how?" "........I must find a balance somewhere, an alternating rhythm between these two extremes; a swinging of the pendulum between solitude and communion, between retreat and return."
"Simplification of outward life is not enough. It is merely the outside. But I am starting with the outside. I am looking at the outside of a shell, the outside of my life-the shell. The complete answer is not to be found on the outside, in an outward mode of living. This is only technique, a road to grace. The final answer, I know is always inside. But the outside can give a clue, can help one to find the inside answer. One is free, like the hermit crab, to change one's shell. Channelled whelk, .....you have set my mind on a journey, up an inwardly winding spiral staircase of thought." ~Anne Morrow Lindberg~
Again, the sea reminds me how to find myself, when I'm adrift and unsure of my thoughts~
If the shore, beach isn't your nature's retreat, you must find one...a place, a trail, a path that leads you away from yourself, into the quiet stirrings of your soul! Take time out to reflect, to reconnect with you and your hopes, dreams, and wishes. Nature can nurture if you allow~