Tides and Passing Seasons
We are just home, having spent the final weekend of the season at our little cottage by the water in Maine. The pipes are outdoors, under the house, so, even though they have been insulated, it is not an all year retreat. That may have been an error on our part. When we bought the cottage, it was a mess (best description: looked like an oversize outhouse) and had to be gutted and totally remade. To make it a year round house would have cost a great deal more money, and we felt it was not worth it, that we would just not be very interested in trips to Mt Desert Island in mid-winter. I am sure that was the practical decision, as the costs would have been the much higher construction bill as well as heating and other utilities all year and paying to keep the long driveway plowed. What we did not factor in, and what we could not have known, is how much we would love it.
It was chilly outside over the past few days, but probably not much colder than Boston. The trees are mostly bare, and the landscape is a beautiful range of browns and golds and faded greens. The sea looks silver under banks of autumn clouds, and the night skies are bursting with stars. We sat, bundled up, in Adirondeck chairs to gaze, to marvel at the heavens. Inside, there is a gas fireplace, and it kept the place toasty warm. It is very well insulated, and it is very small, so the one fireplace does it--and flannel sheets and a down comforter make sleeping delicious. The island is quiet; there were a few cars parked at trailheads, but we saw no one on the mountains as we hiked. The streams are running full and fast, overflowing the banks here and there from all the rains of the recent storm. The rocks and leaves were slippery, and we envied our dog's sure four feet as she scampered easily up and down and across.
It is hard not to feel a little melancholy about closing it down for the season. I have lived long enough and through enough to be very aware that there are no promises. It surely is likely that I, that we, will return in the spring, but I think about it. And I think about what will happen between now and then--many wonderful things and time with beloved family and friends but likely some sadness, and, hopefully, please God, no real grief. I trust that the spring greens will come and the animals, accompanied by new life and little ones, will fill the forests and the fields. This weekend, however, we walked on the leaf-covered trails, smelling the sweetness of autumn and anticipating winter.
To close this on a cheerful note, I am including a picture of one of my favorite things in the cottage: the refrigerator. It was painted with blackboard paint, and all the visiting little ones decorate it.