Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Maine Islands

My friends MaryMargaret, Alice and I went out to Islesford, orLittle Cranberry, island this past weekend. There's something very magical about visiting an island in Maine. You don't have to exchange any money and they still speak the same language but you feel like you've truly left home and really gone somewhere for a little while.

I have wonderful friends out there who own a cottage that has been in Chris's family for years. As a young boy he grew up on this island so he knows all the nooks and crannies on this spit of land in the Atlantic. His boys now have the same history of wonderful boyhood adventures and memories of summers spent out on this island.

Everybody knows Chris and Marion so we name dropped a bit on our ferry ride from Southwest Harbor to Islesford; we aren't really tourists you see, we know people out here!

Last Fall my sisters-in-law, Donna and Stacie, and I went out there to stay in Chris and Marion's cabin. The island population drops dramatically after Labor Day and all the shops (all three of them!) close up as well. In the fall this island is a real haven; quiet and intimate. The three of us spread some of Jim's ashes off the rock beach down in front of the cottage. Jim, though not a "true Mainah" like myself, loved Maine and I wanted to have some of his remains in the Atlantic .... off Islesford was the perfect place for his carbon to return to the cycle.

Obviously this island is pretty special to me now. I found myself feeling a little melancholy when I first got out there. Jim's ashes are long gone from that spot. And I am coming to terms with this reality that Jim is gone from this spot .... here ... with me. But his laughter, his crazy faces, his lust for life and his loving nature are still here with me. When I'm not feeling so damn sad about this loss I can feel truly grateful for having had this man in my life for as long as I did. I guess "healing" will mean I can be in that grateful place more often then not.

Spending time on Little Cranberry Island is healing for me. Watching Eagles swoop over us as we walked around the point that was perfumed with the wild sea roses; playing cards on the kitchen table and laughing while the fog bank rolled in and out, in and out; kayaking to the dock for a drink on the opening night of the island restaurant (and walking home since the fog had rolled back in!); drinking coffee on the rock beach in the brilliant morning sunshine while listening to the gulls croon and the waves dance over these tumbled rocks.

This weekend I began to feel a strength seeping into my being. I became aware how my body, as it's own island, is getting more comfortable with her own ebbs and flows and understanding that, though I'm alone, I am blessed by a rich life filled with adventures, laughter and some amazing friends.

Thank you Chris, Marion and Adam for that wonderful weekend on your island and the gift of your friendship.

Loving you all back,
PS - And still I struggle with the lay out of my blog and the pictures! Top photo from left to right is: MaryMargaret, me, Chris, Alice, Tim, Marion. We are in Marion's island pottery shop. It's on the ferry dock if you get out to this island. Stop in, gorgeous stuff! The second picture is Lupines ... this field made us all gasp when we first saw it. Photo credit: MaryMargaret.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Hoya

I've had a hard time coming here to write lately. Not sure why. Not inspired and worry I'm getting a bit boring with this process. I bore myself with it sometimes. I've been told it's "normal" to want to just be done with this whole grieving shit and to just move on. However, like so many other things it seems to have it's own time line, one that I don't have much control over.

I'm slowly rebuilding this life of mine. Rearranged some stuff in the living room and cleaned an area that I had not gotten to for over two years. It was a pretty big project of cutting back my Hoya plant, which is a tropical plant that is a climbing vine and had gotten quite overgrown the last few years. The cutting my dad gave me long ago comes from a plant that originally belonged to my great grandmother - thus this Hoya is a family heirloom. It has gorgeous, big white flower bundles that have an intoxicating smell. One flower head will perfume my entire house, but only at night! A sweet, sticky nectar will drip from the tip of each segment of the flowers bundle (see picture). I believe it's probably evolved to be pollinated by bats. As fascinating as this is it can be one messy plant over time as the syrup drips onto the walls and furniture and then dust and crud will stick to that and ... ugh. So, cutting this plant back exposed the wall it's been climbing up for so long, which exposed the blackened old sticky spots. Cleaning the wall didn't work, I had to repaint the entire wall! It looks so much brighter and feels so much cleaner in this space now.

I laugh at myself because this half days project of cutting back the climbing vine of the Hoya, rearranging the furniture, cleaning, vacuuming and repainting this corner started out as my heading to my desk to try to organize and file stuff away ... which is in another room entirely.

The desk project still hasn't been attempted.

And this is how I function these days! A bit ADD really, heading for one project and getting so engrossed in something entirely different. There are still many, many projects that need to be tackled in this house and I still find myself running out of steam too easily. Still find myself hitting a road block composed of stuff. Some of this stuff, being Jim's, will hit me in the solar plexus and I have to walk away. Another day perhaps .... but WHEN will that day come? Seriously? When will I find the energy, the focus, the old me that could tackle big projects and complete them?

I know my Hoya will grow back the vines I cut down, that it will burst into blooms again at some point. All the new growth won't change the plant, but it will be different all the same. It's growth has it's own time line and not in my control.

I guess I see similarities in my Hoya and myself. I too got a haircut. I too weep - but only at night. The "old me" has also been cut down. The changes I am going through, so painful at times, is my new growth that also has it's own time line that I need just unfold into and not control.

I must trust that I too will bloom again.

Loving you all back,