It Ends How It Began
In addition to everything else going on in my life (two kids just turning 3 and 5, a holiday, selling our house with numerous surprise showings, buying a house sight unseen in another state, preparing for a summer abroad, learning a foreign language & teaching it to the kids, developing and teaching a course, shooting multiple client projects, dealing with mud season in general)...I am grieving the loss of this life. Life as it is. "The Way Life Should Be." (Literally, that's a marketing slogan, not just my life.) Maine. Wilderness. Just me and my two, in near isolation.
I'm grieving losing Maine. I felt like these past two years, I've grown up so much. I lost so much moving here - neighbors, friends, a church community, and a job (even a car). But with all the noise gone, I had nothing left to find but myself, my purpose, my passion. I grew closest to those closest to me. Maine, for me, meant eliminating all distractions until it was quiet enough to hear God's calling. Mothering, creating, teaching. Kind of like I always knew it would be, even as a little child, in some way. It's simple, but so rich. I had so many opportunities, but pursuing them all meant I was too scattered to focus on what mattered, and it was like God knew that, and pulled me aside, pulled me into the quiet pastures.
One of the happiest days of my life was the first day I *had* to get out of the house after we'd first moved here. Our life was in boxes, my friends were 3,000 miles away in another time zone, there was no club, no church group, no mom's group, no friends, no sales meetings, no colleagues, no Young Professional's group, no Starbucks on both corners across from my house, no walking to anything commercial, no here-to-downtown-by-bus-in-10-minutes-flat, no big public artwork, no traffic noise, no graffiti, no politics. Nothing. But. Us.
And all these boxes.
I had to leave. I had two toddlers crawling all over everything - I couldn't unpack, I couldn't take care of them well, and there were hazards all over the house. I had no one to watch them. And Geoff was already back at work. So we just left. I got in the car with a picnic and a blanket and my new camera and my two children and we just drove. I had no cell phone, no GPS, no map, no nothing. Our first stop was on the edge of town to buy warm clothes, because it was September in Maine and we'd just arrived from Tucson summer. Then we just drove in whatever direction looked the prettiest. Along the way, we found a field of flowers, a long nap, an antiques barn, and the ocean. Then we drove home, happy, sandy, and gritty.
And so, in one of our last days in Maine, I made a similar trek, this time with different stops, but with our same picnic basket, and ending in the same destination - our secret beach, behind an abandoned warehouse and down about a quarter mile. It's a magic place full of driftwood, potsherds, shells, seaweed, and peace.
This is what I saw.