May 21, 2000 |
People have told me that one has to live in a place to really know it. I never understood what they meant--until I spent an entire summer in Bar Harbor, Maine. For two months last year, I scooped ice cream for tourists visiting Acadia National Park. I put in 40 hours a week behind the counter, but I still had time to experience the island.
May 21, 2000 |
Last year about this time, I asked my 20-year-old son, Alex, what he was doing for the summer. I suggested (harangued, he would say) a job at a national park. Sometimes my suggestions are received less than enthusiastically. But this time Alex saw the possibilities: a summer job away from home, on his own, with other adventurous kids in an exciting, new place. It all sounded--well, I believe the term was "awesome."
January 2, 2000 |
Exactly where the new millennium dawned in America may be a minor point to most people, but it felt like a matter of life and death Saturday in this remote fishing village on the ragged edge of the world. As the easternmost town in the continental U.S., tiny Lubec has been boasting for months now that it would be the perfect place to spend the millennium's first morning.
June 27, 1999 |
There is a painting by Jamie Wyeth that moves me with its tranquillity: a pensive woman in a room that looks out at the sea. He calls it "If Once You Have Slept on an Island." I have slept on Monhegan Island, 10 miles off the coast of Maine. During the night, fog horns sound, wind tosses the tall spruces, rain pelts the window. I snuggle under the covers, keeping the Maine chill at bay. I have also awakened on Monhegan. Dawn arrives crystalline, sky blue, sunrise orange.
August 2, 1998 |
There is something decidedly unnerving about settling into a sea kayak and paddling off blindly into a wall of fog. My kayaking buddy, Philip Kibler, checked the chart and set the compass mounted in front of him to 180 degrees. "We're off," he sang with a cheerful faith I did not share.
July 5, 1998 |
At first there were only a few cars on the pier across the bay waters to Canada's Campobello Island. Eventually, half a dozen more parked in the evening dusk. An outsider might have figured they were waiting in line for the last ferry of the day across Passamaquoddy Bay. But an outsider would have been wrong. In this tiny Maine town of Eastport--actually, in most towns on the bay--visiting the pier appears to be an evening ritual, sort of like stopping for ice cream.