Thursday, August 29, 2013


As we pack and move things out of this house a song written by my brother-in-law, David Mallett,has been going through my head these days.  The opening line especially:

I knew this place, I knew it well,
every sound and every smell,
And every time I walked I fell
for the first two years or so.

David's song is about the family farm and being a boy growing up there.  Not quite the same scenario for me and this house I've been in for 22 years, it's more the lure of this big body of water that I've watched the changing colors and seasons of my entire life.

As we embark on our next journey and move this new life to the mountains of Maine I am slowly getting hit with the reality that I will no longer have summers by the sea.  I grew up in the foothills of these mountains, went to school there, spent the winters in the snow country in this small town in Oxford County.  But summers were always back to the ocean and long, lazy days spent on Scarborough beach body surfing or exploring the tide pools.  Except for the few years I lived in Colorado I have always spent summers by the ocean .... and "every sound and every smell" ... is deeply rooted in every cell of my being.

This is going to change.

People ask me if I'm excited, if I'm feeling sad, if I'm ready?  Quite honestly this has been such a whirlwind that I haven't had time to stop and feel anything.  This may be a good thing, but maybe not!  I know I'm tired of packing and moving boxes, a tad worried about the disorganization we will have to live in for the next  few months with all our stuff stacked high in the barn of the house we are moving to.  I know that last waxing moon caught my breath as I was hit with the reality of just how much I love to see the moon on the water ... and this will no longer be my view.

One evening when that moon was full and spreading her silver light across the bay, spotlighting the boats in the harbor, I sat staring out at this amazing scene and started to cry. I turned to Dave and said, "we won't have this view in Farmington" ... "no", he said, "we won't.  But I am going to build you a beautiful house on a hill that overlooks the mountains and we will be able to sit and watch the moon dance on the snow capped peaks."

And with this I knew that this man loves me beyond this earth and all the way to that big moon!  

And maybe home is where the heart is, in which case, with all this turmoil, all this upheaval, all these boxes and uncertainty ... I am home regardless.

Loving you all back,

Here are the lyrics to David Mallett's song if you choose to read.  He is truly one of the best poets I know.

I knew this place, I knew it well,
every sound and every smell,
And every time I walked I fell
for the first two years or so.

There across the grassy yard,
I a young boy runnin' hard.
Brown and bruised and battle
scarred and lost in sweet illusion.

From my window I can see
the fingers of an ancient tree.
Reaching out it calls to me
to climb its surly branches.
But all my climbing days are gone
And these tired legs I'm standin' on
would scarcely dare to leave the spot upon
which they are standin'.

And I remember every word
from every voice I ever heard,
Every frog and every bird,
Yes, this is where it starts.
A brother's laugh, the sighing wind,
this is where my life begins.
This is where I learned to use my
hands and hear my heart.

This house is old, it carries on
like lyrics to an old time song,
Always changed but never gone,
this house can stand the seasons.
Our lives pass on from door to door,
dust upon the wooden floor,
Feather rain and thunder roar,
we need not know the reason.

And all these thoughts come back to
me like ships across a friendly sea,
Like breezes blowing endlessly,
like rivers running deep.
The day is done. The lights are low,
the wheels of life are turning slow
And as these visions turn and go,
I lay me down to sleep.


  1. I have struggled with the question of "where to live" - I've always just followed along with the next idea that comes up - from a friend or with a partner. The ocean has always been an important part of my life - I haven't always lived near it, the farthest away was when I lived up in the woods of northern Maine - but many summers I visited family near the ocean so the cup was partially filled. You will visit the ocean still and when you do you will appreciate it even more. I also love the mountains and have always wanted to live near them. Live in a place where you can walk out your door and take a strenuous hike to see a view or a walk in the woods in solitude. New Hampshire is where I'd like to take a stop on this journey of life; No ocean but woods and mountains and crystal clear streams and rivers. Anyway - you will be fine! The flicker of the moon on a snowy mountain sounds absolutely heavenly! I always look forward to your posts!!!!

  2. Oh, thank you for this. You are right; those streams with swimming holes, tubing, watching. The hikes right out the door, the fall foliage (my newest thought!).

    This is perfect for me right now.

    I do thank you!

  3. something I wrestle with..wondering where the next home is after having been here ( by the ocean ) for 32 years..thinking, there is so much life and energy by the shore. How can I think of going elsewhere? But, whenthe time comes, hopefully a new home will have an allure special to itself..and it will be a new home.It will hopefully "speak " to me as this one did. good new experiences to you!

  4. Dearest Mary, My eyes teared up reading this. I can really relate. I have lived all over the world, and I have never felt as at "Home" as I did at our cottage on Pennesseewassee Lake, or by the coast of Maine. Although we did not have a place by the sea like your family did, we always took trips to Old Orchard or Reid State park, or other beaches and spent whole days there. I took vacations on the coast of Maine as an adult, and in high school Emily and I went down to the coast one day and asked a lobster fisherman to take us out with him for the day, and he did. I remember my childhood summers at your family's place by the sea. They left SUCH an impression on me that if I could paint well, I would paint endless images and feelings forever imprinted and stored on my soul. Here in New Mexico, I miss the coast of Maine so badly. Oddly when I have been back to Maine and considered staying I always feel like a lover trying to rekindle something that "once was" the deepest most pure love, but that just does not work anymore. I want it to work and even lived in Maine for a bit years ago, but I always ended up leaving. Maybe it is the wanderer in me, the nomadic urge to explore. Maybe it is the wide open spaces and haunting rock, stillness, vast sunsets, and mesas of the Southwest that lure me here. I don't know. All I know is that no where feels like home anymore. My partner has the same thing going on and is also from back east (up state NY - Adirondacks), so we are thinking of getting a large motor home in 3 - 5 years and living wherever the mood hits us. I've lived so much OUT of this country that I would like to travel and see more of what lies here. I do know this, that wherever you are, YOU will see beauty (we are alike in that regard), and you will embrace it with an open heart. It is just your way. I also know that wherever you are, the people and the land will be made richer for your presence there. I KNOW THIS, without doubt. It is just who you are. Much love to you, dear friend. I think of you....

  5. Robin ... you are absolutely an amazing human being!

    Thank you so! And yes, we are cut from the same cloth I believe .. love the connection again!