Thursday, February 07, 2008

Travel to Paradise.

My family comes from a seafaring heritage with my great grandparents coming from Newfoundland where my grandmother and grandfather were born. And as they came over on the boats to the United States to start a new life, there must have been some salt water from the Coasts that intermingled and came down through the generations into our family's blood. My great grandparents worked as codfishermen off the grandbanks of Newfoundland.
As a result, it seems that our family has had an itch of being true Mainiacs even before we knew it. And thankfully for my parents being at Bates College in Maine, my journey got its great start from there.

My grandmother gave my mom and dad a pearl of wisdom which we have been lucky enough to live by during our time staying on the coast of Maine. She said, "always be sure that when you get a place on the coast, to have the view frame the picture." I have found that there are not that many places where one does not end up getting a fairly good view of the coast. I am biased since our family has had very good luck as in horseshoes in always finding the very best view of the shore. And when my grandmother was with us, she spent several weeks in some of the cottages and house that we had along the shoreline.

Once from the lawn of our house , she was standing with her daughter and a helicopter was passing overhead taking a picture of the house for some promotional purpose and the photographer of the picture showed up several weeks later to present the picture to my parents and as a result the picture is hanging up in the hallway of the living room at Piper Shores, the current life care community that my parents have enjoyed very much.

Whenever I sit in a room, I like glancing around at the various pictures that are hanging on the walls, and as I look at them I imagine the worlds that they represent. And even though I can not walk physically through the pictures, I like recalling the times that I spent at those sights in Maine. For example, our second cottage on the coast sat looking across at two lighthouses. The Hendricks Head lighthouse was seen from the front porch and acted as the view to our side yard.

To curl up on the couch after taking off my shoes to recline and look out at the ocean in front of me. Just looking out as if I was on the bow of a boat. Seeing lots of blue ocean and blue sky on the horizon. No motion of going up and down as if on the boat, but at times, it almost felt like it with the way the breeze made the boughs of the trees in front of our cottage go swaying by. The sunlight from the ocean sparkled against the gentle waves that were curling up and down along the shore from the distance.

There were days that I spent on the shore enjoying the warm and breezy air. The times that I went out on the front porch and looked out at the ocean that lay before me. Of the times that I would walk through our cottage to see and hear the gulls passing overhead on their passages to their gull rocks.
What must their view look like as they pass by our cottage that is situated high above overlooking the cliffs below. And only fifty feet from the shore, closer than what the regulations allow now.

This escape to Maine for July and August acted as a quiet alternative to a noisy neighborhood of loud pool parties and barking beagles. And it opened up a world for me to enjoy serene moments sitting by the tidal pools and looking into them. Just seeing a tidal pool suspended within the cleft of the rock that has eroded over time. After a slow observation of seeing small fish swimming effortlessly through the small tidal pool. Never before had I heard of such a place . It had been written of long times ago by the likes of our former historical neighbor of Rachel Carson from Dogfish Head, the beach that sat next to Hendricks Head light. My mom guided me by the hand down along the sloping rocks and as we sat at the tidal pool during the break, she explained, "son, this is what we see in the tidal pool." As Mom explained to me the various creatures, I reached in and moved my fingers through the tidal pools to get a good feel of the slimy and smooth texture of the sea kelp and seaweed . That followed with the smooth touch of the shells and the rough coat of the barnacles. The barnacles clung to the sides of the mussell and clam shells that sometimes fell into the tidal pools as the gulls passed by our cottage on their way from take-out. Eating on the go in a very quick and carefree mission.
As Mom explained further, "Son, see here, we have colorful flowers that are growing along in the crevices of the rocks and these rocks have been here longer than we have been alive." The way my mom explained the coast made me appreciate how special and sacred the rocks were that we were standing on. And how such a place can sometimes be taken for granted when looked at from the vast scope and expanse of the Maine coast.

Wherever we have lived in Maine, we have always been able to look at islands whether occupied or as outcroppings of rock that jutted out of the ocean sea. We have been surrounded by lobster pot buoys that floated in the ocean below and have seen the lobstermen pull their traps in the morning. And we have seen the local Southport yacht club youngsters as they were taking their sailing lessons or actually in a meet for their regatta.
I sure wish I could paint or take a better picture of what I have described and have tried many times-never getting an exact duplicate. But looking at various pictures on our walls do bring back some of the emotion and anticipation of what it was like during my travels to Paradise and hope that this was portrayed here as well.

I am real glad that our family has been blessed wherever we have gone in Maine that indeed our view has been framed.

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