Summer vacation: those two little words convey freedom and release with undertones of adventure; a break from a routine that is beginning to feel like a rut. The opportunity to read in bed before breakfast, without the usual sense of urgency to get moving. The chance to let loose, be daring — to strip off one’s clothes and dive into the waves lapping against a fogged-in and deserted beach, for instance, or to climb a small mountain and surrender oneself to a rocky, green fairyland.
To vacate that routine, let go, and just wander. Take notice of what it means to live on an island, where discarded stuff eventually gets swallowed by the landscape.
Paul and I spent last week with friends in a big house on a small island in Maine. It was a loose, undemanding group. We were able to arrange activities so that everyone got to spend their time the way they liked — including the children, who were happy to hike with any adult willing to take the hardest, scariest climb that day.
We cooked and ate beautiful food, had a front row seat to this year’s perseid meteor showers, and collected treasures from the island’s rocky beaches.
I arrived home refreshed, and, at long last, fully seduced by summer’s glow. I’ll hang onto that whiff of freedom for as long as I can. It’ll come in handy when summer’s light fades and the sea monsters of winter begin their yearly descent.
Leslie in Portland, Oregon said:
Your vacation sounds wonderful and truly a vacation! How was the water? (Always my first question about a vacation near water…) Did you take your computer with you? With a smile, Leslie
I can’t lie to you, Leslie, I didn’t get fully immersed. It was a rocky beach and I wasn’t wearing water shoes so I slipped in very briefly. I did, however, also swim in an alpine lake in Acadia National Park. The water was pretty cold (even when properly clothed in a bathing suit), it was a quick dip, and when I got out there was a leech dancing on my leg — yuck. I did take my computer. Next time, though, maybe I’ll leave it at home…. but I do like having it in case I want to post a photo now and then.
Martha Nichols said:
Judith! You bring it all back. Love the photos and your thoughts about those sea monsters of winter….
Judith A. Ross said:
Dear Martha, Next year we’re going up the Jordan Cliff trail, no excuses!
I love the photo of the rocks with the stripes and lichens. Gorgeous colors.
Heather in Arles said:
Such gorgeous photos, Judith! You really are getting good, my friend. 🙂 And I am so happy that you had this well-deserved time away…but a…leech??…it nearly makes me faint just thinking about it and brings back too many memories from being a young ‘un at my Grandparents cottage. We would use peanut butter to make them fall off!!!
Heather, thank you for the compliment on my photos — it means a lot coming from you. Remember what you told me about learning to shoot in manual? Well, when I was walking the area by that jeep, I started playing with my camera and figured out how to do it (no, I haven’t read the manual, and no, I haven’t done much experimenting). Anyway, I can see that I will have to review what I learned in my college photography class about ISO numbers and aperture settings. I’ve had the camera for a year now and I finally got around to checking this out. That’s another aspect of vacation “freedom” — the freedom to experiment and risk a bunch o’ photos ratees 😉
Leslie in Portland, Oregon said:
Leeches are something we don’t have in western Oregon/Washington, but I remember being “grossed out” by my grandparents’ warnings about them each time my brother and I (at ages 7 and 5) were about to go swimming in a shallow eastern Alberta lake. I’m pretty sure that even now, as an adult, I would not relish being in the water near.h as much if I knew there were leeches (or poisonous snakes or alligators or swimming slugs) there too!
Kathleen Volp said:
Hang on, you should! They’re predicting a cold winter. Your beautiful summer photos will have to suffice until you are once again seduced by the quiet beauty of snow covered woods.
D. A. Wolf said:
The photos are beautiful, Judith. And I admit I smiled when you said you took your computer. (I guess I shouldn’t? I can’t imagine not taking my computer…)
I think the water is beautiful in almost any environment, but I admit I love a sandy beach where the water is warm warm warm…
I love the patina on the rocks and the truck.
love these pictures!