Friday, August 04, 2006

The Heart of Things - Maine, The Way Life Should Be

Yes, it's a bold statement. Scrawled across many a t-shirt, mug and bumper sticker throughout this northern land: Maine, The Way Life Should Be.

Bold, but it's true.

At this very moment, the missus and I are heading NORTH (there's something mystical just in that statement!) A week in the balsam-scented, boulder-speckled, lake-covered hills and forests of Maine!. My dad has a little cabin in a little town that has a little post office where they always ask you about LIFE. And so we're going to those woods "to live deliberately".... for a week.

I've been taking this route north for nearly 20 summers now. Maine is a wild, burning blue sky with air so clean and crisp it must be taken in slowly and prayerfully, like meeting someone older than you are.

SPOTS IN TIME: Being nearly run over by a bullmoose, biking down a logging road (I was biking, clearly) when he burst out of the brush, nearly 7 feet at the shoulder.

Sleeping on the shore of Moosehead Lake, watching countless stars swirl in a great dance overhead, making their milky way through the heavens.

Cooking lobster in a massive pot, laughing until we were doubled over, waterskiing at sunset on a lake of glass, fingers tracing the water along the way.

Setting beaver traps in the dead of winter with a crusty old barber named Leon. The smell of fresh balsam as we peeled saplings for bait. Looking out over Ragged Mountain to the sea, to the lobster boats dotting Camden's coast.

Singing my "hymns to the silence" in the absolute stillness by Misery Stream north of Rockwood. Drinking in deep thoughts as they rose from that holy place, so far from the things of man.

Thoreau said we need the tonic of wildness, of solitude, so that we can discover who we are and how we relate. "Vacation time offers the unique opportunity to pause before the thought-provoking spectacles of nature, a wonderful "book" within reach of everyone, adults and children. In contact with nature, a person rediscovers his correct dimension, rediscovers himself as a creature, small but at the same time unique, with a "capacity for God" because interiorly he is open to the Infinite." - Pope Benedict XVI

So off we go, away from the things of man and yet into the very heart of being human!

And we'll have some fun board games too, in case it rains. Let's hope I can still blog it up there!

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