This season in Maine began earlier, and more hustle-y and bustle-y, than any of my seasons here that I can recall.
And it has been mostly really good hustle-y and bustle-y stuff, some of it pretty dang great.
Once we jettisoned Sam and Mac and Jack (post the amazing proposal that I now think was just a ruse by Jack to get promoted from Half-Kid to 3/4 Kid (rookie) we imported five strapping young men to The Inn* – Gabe’s best buds. And they hung out, in and around our little midcoast peninsula, doing summer things like flinging themselves off ropes into water so cold that your whole body being numb is a good thing (how else do you swim in Maine?). They also engaged in mini-golfing, grabbing ice creams downtown, and kicking arse at Texas hold ’em (using our amassment of quarters in place of gambling chips), and eating. Oh the eating!
Their record breakfast consisted of 21 eggs (and the mushrooms, peppers, onions, and a half pound of cheddar cheese required to create mix-ins for said eggs), along with two pounds of bacon, two pounds breakfast sausage, and an unmeasured amount of toast.
The boys left on Saturday, and I think we felt a little like toast (though they were awesome houseguests). And the next day we headed across the cove to celebrate the 4th of July, on the 3rd of July, with heaps of lobsters and neighbors and friends (kind-of new ones, along with old ones, and a gaggle of just-met ones). And that was so much fun.
Like I said, lots of good things.
But not a lot of down time to reflect upon and savor these good things.
All along the way, during this past month, as I was trying to absorb this stuff – one kid graduating high school, one college, 1 1/2 kids getting engaged, and the same 1 1/2 moving west (today’s texts were of flatlands in Nebraska, but then hilly as they went by or through (I’m not exactly sure) a corner of Colorado) – anyway, I found myself feeling a bit unsettled, and I couldn’t figure out why.
Why would I feel unsettled when there were so many positives?
And then it hit me.
In all the hubbub, I forgot…
It wasn’t as if I’d been holding my breath… but I certainly wasn’t taking it all in.
I was shallow-breathing my way through it all (not good for oxygenating an already unwieldy and decidedly overactive brain).
I don’t mean I was shallow-breathing through the graduations and engagements and move and renovations and and and…
I mean I was doing so… through the change.
There’s a lot of change happening right now.
And somewhere in the early hours of this day, I had a chance to take that deep breath, and let it out.
Then I took another one, and let that one go too.
I began to take in everything that has happened, and is happening… like right now.
Children moving on to new phases yet again.
JoHn and I moving on our new phases yet again.
And, though our nest is emptying of children, we are part of the sandwich generation. Our home is not empty, because we have a Granny – who is also moving into her own new phase…
And hers comes complete with a Mini Cooper convertible (who knew?!)
It was good to realize again – to remind myself in today’s pre of dawn – that I have loved each phase of my life more than the last.
I’m pretty cozy with Change, which I’ve always considered a valuable trait. Because Change is one of life’s ultimate tricksters – charming so many of us into thinking he’s a reasonable and rational partner – willing to listen and adapt to our needs and timetables – only to dance away on a whim, leaving us to deal with the awkward advances of What-Just-Happened and Never-Saw-Coming.
So I breathed until I realized that, not only was I sort of diggin’ the song Change had chosen, but I’m pretty dang sure I can rock the dance moves.
And with that, I felt myself – finally – easing into this place in Maine that I have come to love so much.
Our migration here, means that my geographic paramour is morphing from a retreat to a place where I will dwell – in body and mind – for some time or my life’s time.
This year is the first year that I will be able to be here a bit in autumn, the first year I will be able to harvest the apples that have toppled to the ground in years past… taken by bird and beast, or fermenting and returning to the earth.
This year we will see the leaves change, my first chance to see the reds and gold and oranges reflected by the deep blues of a late season sea.
I have seen winter storms through these windows many times now, but JoHn and Granny have not. Will they love them as much as I do, as we create warming fires and settle into good books, or a Sunday game? I hope so.
The kids are already making noises about Thanksgiving, and how we can make sure we are all together then, and then at Christmas.
Mac and Jack are asking for visitors in Seattle once they settle in.
I found myself smiling.
Root vegetable and fruit-ish analogies aside…
What to one is a fear of life’s contraction, to another is an excitement for its inevitable expansion.
I can feel myself opening to it all, an excitement just beneath the surface of my ever-wandering and wondering and, of course, ponderin’ consciousness.
Thanks for readin’.
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*Just a reminder that “The Inn” was once really an inn, well-known for its lobster bakes and relaxing spot by the water. But this was back in the early 1900s. It’s been a home since about 1918/1920 as far as our research tells us. So today, if I woke up to strangers in their bathrobes hanging out in my kitchen and waiting for breakfast, I might be a little uncomfortable…. or a lot.