I spent the weekend out on the island of Islesford, also known as Little Cranberry, that sits just off Mount Desert where Acadia National Park is. The first weekend in October, it was beautiful out there, quiet with all the summer folk gone. Donna and Stacie had come back for a long weekend in order to make this trip with me. In September of 2008, while Jim still seemed OK but probably had tumors growing in his beautiful head, we all had gone out to Islesford for five days and stayed in the house owned by our good friends. The cabin sits right on the rocky beach where the surf rolls in and tumbles the granite and feldspar rocks to smooth, round gems. All day and night the rythmic symphony of these rocks rolling against each other with each wave is heard. Such a soothing and wonderful song.
We arrived in the fog and therefore unable to see much beyond the bow of the ferry. A friend of mine recently reminded me that I once told her, while she and I walked on a beach in a dense fog, how much I love being in fog because it forces you to be so present since you can't see much beyond where you are right now, no images of the beach in front of you or what is behind you. No future to contemplate, no past either really. I thought of this as the ferry powered out to the island, tried to get philosophical about life, tried to stay very present and not think or worry about my future ... though I can't let go of my past.
The three of us this year were taking the remainder of Jim's ashes out to that rocky beach and, together, would spread the last of Jim's earthly remains into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of our beloved Maine. I had also spread some of his ashes at almost 13,000 feet when I did the long hike in Telluride, Colorado. It seems right that Jim is now part of the carbon cycle in the rocky mountains and the rocky beach of Maine.
"Ashes to ashes and dust to dust" .... that bag of ashes was odd. I got thinking how all of Jim's molecules were in there, all his bones, his gorgeous muscles, his beautiful blue eyes and "Irish mug" of a nose, even his brain - all carbon compost now. But what of his mind? Ah, his mind is not carbon now. I've been contemplating this concept of the 'mind' and would love to hear ideas any of you may have and would like to share with me. Is the "mind" the soul? Is the "mind" our very essence? Jim's wonderful "mind" is how I remember him; his intelligence, his sensitivity and love of the world and all that is in it. Just a few thoughts this gorgeous October morning.
Bittersweet. It was. The three of us, Donna, Stacie and I, had a very relaxing and wonderful stay out there though we all felt the absence of Jim very deeply and profoundly. Jim was the extrovert and would always be sharing his ideas or be spontaneous and fun and could get us all laughing until tears streamed down our cheeks. There was a lot more silence this trip, a lot more just starring out to sea, a lot more solo walks on the beach. This was all very good for each of us ... it was a sweet time out there this year, laced with the bitterness of our loss.
"I'm looking way out to the ocean
Love to watch that green water in motion ...
I will always love you
Magnet and Iron
Loving you all back,