Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Simple Joys

One of the great things that keeps happening on this trip are those unplanned moments of "this is the best trip ever!"  from my kids.  This photo was taken yesterday morning, on a nearly-empty, unspoiled beach in Kittery, Maine.  As you can tell from Patti's beach attire, we hadn't planned on staying at the beach because the day had started chilly and cloudy.  But, once there, with the sun emerging from the clouds, the kids found the powdery sand, the shells, the seaweed, the gentle waves, and the possibility of getting totally muddy and wet to be irresistible.  This particular beach is a residents-only, undeveloped beach:  no bathroom/showers, no snack bar, and a tiny parking area on the end of a winding, tree-lined road.  So, I found the most inviting driftwood log-seat I could find, and took several hours to play hide-and-seek with the sunshine and watch my happy crew dig, splash, shiver, jump waves, and collect treasures.

We have spent a number of very busy, people-filled days with extended family, big meals to prepare, and the daily tasks of maintaining our various "campsites" in my Mom's house, so it was pure bliss to do nothing but sit and simply inhale deeply that potpourri of seaweed and salt marsh and the air of the ocean itself.  For a few breaths, I was once again that happily soggy little girl with sand and seaweed in her wind-tangled hair, chasing my brothers down the beach, or quietly exploring the silky-gritty texture of powder-fine sand mixed with seawater.  

At one point, Patti found a large kelp "tail" that she decided was a huge paintbrush, and she spent quite a while exploring the artistic effects of dragging it along the low-tide sand in swirling patterns.  What artist would not be delighted with a canvas as wide as the seashore?  Eventually, she felt her work was "done" and signed her name, in letters at least 7-feet high.   I'd like to think that someday when my "work" is done, I'd be proud to sign it in 7-foot-high letters.

Today, I got to savor another simple joy. While my husband, my mom, and my brothers entertained my kids and their cousins,  I visited two very dear friends, Brett and his husband, Dave.  Brett has been my friend since our college days (yes, that was a long, long time ago), and is the most gifted voice teacher I know.  After receiving the precious gift of a voice lesson with Brett,  I sat at a delicious lunch (thanks, guys !) with these two loving, generous men and witnessed the grace with which they are facing some of life's most daunting challenges: cancer, aging parents, more cancer, and job uncertainty.  My friends are a couple of incredible Life-gardeners.  A lot of "stuff" has landed in the garden that is their life, and they are "composting" it for the blooming of their quiet and kindly souls into new life.  They are turning their lives into the kind of art that they will be proud to sign their names to, in 7-foot-high letters.

We've got a couple more days here in Maine, which includes another visit with an old friend (Nancy, whom I've known since elementary school, and her terrific husband, Jeff), and a few more meals of great New England seafood in my mom's favorite local restaurants.   And then, it's back to road adventures, and more visits with dear friends along the way.

But for now, it's time for a glass of wine with my brothers, and Andre, while we wait for my Mom's dinner masterpiece to come out of the oven.  To Life!  Salut!

1 comment:

  1. How nice that you had time to sit quietly and take in the New England sea. I'm sure that brings back memories. It must be fun to see your kids enjoying the Maine beach! We can't wait to see all you guys! Marc,Seth,Sam and Peachfuzz