Maine Day 20: Meduncook River
Whatever had come over me, this was an extremely emotional day. Maybe it was my unexplained, easily obtained deep bruises or the perma-blue berry stains under my nails or my wild, wild hair and face spackled with dark fresh freckles. Maybe it was the dirt and sand all over everything everywhere that we had. Or my nonchalance about all this. Maybe it was watching Grace get hypothermia or be stung by bees over the past week. Maybe it was the collective effect of all the emotional outbursts Cannon had had on this trip. Maybe it was yet another end-of-an-era summer, knowing we were about to send him off to a special school in another town that could serve him with both his recently diagnosed "moderate to severe dyslexia" coupled with a singular gift in mathematics, a combination the doctors call "twice exceptional." Maybe it was just regular toddler-related mama exhaustion or knowing that Maine can't be home, at least not anymore, at least now for now. I felt something this day that I can't explain, an overwhelming feeling of the world churning on without me while I hid below the surface waiting for it to pass. (And poor Stacy was visiting us at the farm on this day, bless her heart, right in the path of my pensive and incorrigible mood.) I don't want to leave this pace or this place. I am happy in my wonder-world, away from other people except our little family, living on the stage of whatever is in front of me, as a child does.
As I watched my bare baby toddle along the edge of the Meduncook River without another soul around as far as the eye could see, I knew this truth:
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
A quote, from Marcel Proust. It was printed under my photograph in my senior yearbook in high school.
Proust was a big believer in being able to retreat into your own little wonder-world, though instead of photographs, he used words. Will Cannon ever experience the great joy of being able to "pass over" into other people's perspectives through reading? They told me he'd never play an instrument or speak a foreign language. That without specialized, grueling training, he would never make it beyond first grade. And here we are at the precipice, about to dive into second, in a different school. There are parts where I am tempted to wonder how it will all turn out.
Proust also wrote:
“We feel quite truly that our wisdom begins where that of the author ends, and we would like to have him give us answers, while all he can do is give us desires. But by…a law which perhaps signifies that we can receive the truth from nobody, and that we must create it ourselves, that which is the end of their wisdom appears to us as but the beginning of ours.”
We write our days now not with certainty but with picked roadside raspberries and seaside shells. We make our acquaintances with horseshoe crabs. We make our luck from dust.
Eloise bent to the ground and I realized that the sky and water were equally matched. That Heaven and Earth looked the same, and I was reminded of a Sanskrit word I had encountered in my days at Duke. Ankida. It means, "where Heaven and Earth meet." The little wonder-world I live in in my heart and in my mind, regardless of our location...this is my Ankida. And I live here now.