It has been two weeks since I arrived home from the Maine vacation and it is taking time to adjust to not being there. The last two weeks of the trip flew by with a walk up Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park, a ferry ride to and hiking on Monhegan Island, a visit to the Belfast Cohousing and Ecovillage as well as a stroll through the Farnsworth Art Museum. And in between these trips were walks into downtown Rockland and the Breakwater.
The last weeks were filled with the continuance of grace as I was enveloped by much beauty and touched by the people I met. There were more opportunities to laugh at myself such as during the climb up Mt, Battie. As I kept stopping to catch my breath I wondered why a short mile hike could seem so long and deciding dying on the side of a small mountain in Maine wouldn’t be so bad (working out at a gym does not necessarily prepare one for steep hikes). But I made it to the top to partake of not only another beautiful view but to connect with another lovely family. They were from New York and reflected both awe at the beauty they were seeing as well as a quiet sense of peace. Of course there were also families dealing with tired whining children and whining adults complaining as their expectations were not met. All a part of the human community and our various stages of being.😉
An exhibit at the Farnsworth reminded me how extraordinary what we see as ordinary often is when we open our eyes, mind and heart. Currently there is an exhibit “Andy and Kosti” that displays works by the painter Andrew Wyeth and the photojournalist Kosti Ruohomma. These men were great friends both with a love for Maine. The exhibit features photographs by Kosti paired with paintings by Andy. A striking talent of both was to take “ordinary” subjects and help us see their extraordinary nature. This led me to think of all the many entrepreneurs in Rockland at the local bakery, coffee roasters, spa, art galleries, grocery co-op as well as clothing and gift shops. To me the risk taking, following their passions and giving to their community is beyond ordinary. I am sure at times it is highly stressful but also produces times of joy as they share their talents with us. I pray to never again look at small business owners as ordinary or fail to acknowledge their heart.
As you probably see places and people filled my heart in Maine. There was more clarity of vision and feeling I believe because I was free from my “Virginia” routine and responsibilities (whether real or perceived). That supported the ability to relax, live more in the moment and be more light hearted. So what did I discover about my self- nothing new😊. What I knew before this trip is that I am love and at my core is peace and joy. This adventure let me experience that more fully and freely especially on the feeling level. It is a gift that I now will strive to integrate more into my perception and action of daily life.
What do you see in your life that is extraordinary? Might it be you? How do you see yourself connected to both people and the Earth?
More than a week has passed since I started on my adventure to Maine and there are some observations I can make at this point.. First let me say I am beginning to understand the true impact of remembering we are peace at our core. I started the trip feeling at peace and the travel to Maine was extremely calm and peaceful: even through northern Virginia and even when the GPS took me straight through NY City on I-95. It was as though the way was being made for me which of course it was. I stayed the first night in Highstown, NJ and in my first blog about the preparation for the trip I had a picture of a many colored house from that city that I found through an internet search. Well, I drove right by it on the way to dinner and was delighted with the sight of it and several other old Victorian homes. Nothing compared to it however! What a delight knowing there are no coincidences.
The rest of the trip proved just as smooth and I arrived in Rockland excited and grateful. The house I am renting is warm, inviting and best of all across the street from a wonderful view of Penobscot Bay. In this first week I walked downtown numerous times, walked the Rockland Breakwater out to the lighthouse and spent 2 ½ glorious days in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. I rode the free propane powered bus to most of the places I wanted to see in the park and drove up to stand atop the incredible Cadillac Mountain. While in the park I had lunch on the lawn at Jordan Pond with the bees(another story in itself) and walked around the pond. They told me it was close to 4 miles but luckily I did not know that until I was more than halfway. The next day a park ranger led boat tour from Bar Harbor to Baker Island was another highlight as we traveled over gorgeous Frenchman Bay. As with many areas on the Maine coast on the island a walk through the woods ends with a walk out onto rocks with the water in front of you. On Baker Island that huge area is known as “the dance floor”.
What I am discovering so far is a tremendous sense of connection with both the Earth and with humanity. Our planet is constantly giving to us, supporting us, embracing us. Yet how easily we forget as we get absorbed in our lives, our fears, our distractions. But I am brought back to the truth as I look out over Penobscot Bay, Frenchmans Bay, Cadillac Mountain and as I walk the forest around Baker’s Island and Jordan Pond. All first brings a sense of awe and then overwhelming gratitude to what this wonderful planet gives to us regardless of we treat it. What gifts I receive over and over. And then I realize there is really no separation. I have moments of feeling the oneness with the Earth and that I can give to it.
And what of this connection with people? Everywhere I go there is a wonderful mosaic of people of many cultures, ages, gender and ethnicity. Since it is summer many are families. Their have been moments of sweet observation. A French family with 3 children were on the island tour. The parents were incredibly attuned to their children encouraging their curiosity and exploration and alive with their own joy and laughter. Another mother was on the tour with 3 teenage boys. That family too was enthusiastic and respectful of each other obviously having a good time. Several times folks stopped to help this “old lady” as she navigated rocks and on Jordan Pond a woman from Missouri said she could not believe I was doing the whole walk. Of course I was not sure if it was a compliment and tried not to think about how old I must look. I was quite glad her hand was there when I needed it. I can go on and on but those are just examples of interactions observed and those in which I participated in both in Acadia and here in Rockland. These have been such a gift as I am reminded that amidst all the horror we see and here about there are loving people filled with light which support all of us. As I make contact with others I am reminded we are all a part of “Life breathing life” as Gangaji says. We are all connected by our Creator and whether we believe it or not all are One. I am privileged in this journey so far to be experiencing the beauty of the Earth and the beauty of those that inhabit it.
As you move through the day are you seeing the beauty around you? Where is it showing up for you? Do you think there is a message it what you are seeing and feeling? Are there ways you need to be connecting more in your life?
The picture gallery this time is just a glimpse at the beauty and fun.
Many years ago a dear friend introduced me to the beauty of Maine. Almost from the moment we entered the state I fell in love with it! Two visits were made over a few years, and my connection with it remains strong. Strange how a place can so capture us and I believe, at least for me, the attraction to that State is an energetic heart connection. In the time that has passed since my last visit (more than 10 years ago I think) I have stayed in touch through Down East magazine (subtitled “ the magazine of Maine) and through friends who have a home on the water there where they spend the summer with their two dogs and two cats.
A year ago I began to clearly see and feel that Maine is a part of my journey that is not complete. Last summer I kept getting prompts from my heart that it was time to return. I made a decision to spend a month there in 2015 and things began to fall into place. I was led to a lovely old house in Rockland across the street from the bay and rented it even though the time was a year away. It is a wonderful place to be based to visit places on the coast including Acadia National Park as well as enjoy the energy of Rockland itself.
Much of my life I spent hiding who I truly am in an effort to fit in or to experience what I thought was fitting in. During that time of hiding there were periods of rebellion which often caused hurt or confusion and led to my missing so much of who I am. But in the last few years that has changed. Even though in the past there were wonderful, joyful experiences what I feel now is a depth of joy and peace beyond description. However, I am a light being having a human experience so there is always more to learn and more progress to be made. Life on this planet is difficult now in so many ways. Truly being who I came here to be is necessary if I am to fulfill my purpose for being here.
A year has almost passed since I made the decision to visit Maine. Life marches on and during that time I retired again and being human there is always trauma and drama in my personal life and family life. Humanity struggles with violence and hatred. The earth continues to try to adjust to its new rotational frequency as well as to all the suffering it has incurred due to our human thoughtlessness and greed. But under it all a consciousness of light and peace is getting stronger and stronger as humanity chooses to evolve to a higher level.
And here I am poised to begin a new part of my journey: an adventure with many levels, layers and surprises. First I will connect to the beloved ocean in a truly different way with the breathtaking scenery of a rocky coast where often mountains (or hills) and ocean meet. I have found that each state I visit has a different t energetic feel and Maine is very different than Virginia. It is hard for me to describe but maybe as I move though the trip and connect with both those who live there and visitors I can begin to describe what it truly means for me.
An important aspect of the trip to Maine is experiencing me in an environment where I have no need to take on any expected role. It is a place to open my heart and experience myself without expectations of family or friends. It is a time to play and explore. In a way it is a part of a pilgrimage to Pam. Who will I discover? I plan to share my experiences and thoughts during the trip which begins in the middle of July. Please let me know if there is something specific you want me to comment about or to discuss. Maybe I will be able to include some pictures.
Have there been pilgrimages in your life? When did these occur and what did you learn? What wonderful places on this beautiful earth played a part in any pilgrimage or learning? Do you feel connected to the earth and if so, in what ways?