September is a bittersweet time of year for me. Our months on the island will soon be over and it feels as though we've just arrived. This year is especially difficult. Not only does it feel as though we've just arrived, it feels as though summer has just arrived. We are finally having the clear and sparkling days I've longed for–and I am leaving for Italy in the middle of the best days of the season.
I love to travel and yet I don't like leaving. I think of all the reasons why we shouldn't leave, and then I think of the new roads, new friends, new villages, new food, museums, and wonderful outdoor markets, yet still, I return to the fact that I am totally content to be here in Maine.
To make my separation anxiety even greater, our life has been filled with bits and pieces of nature as colorful and lively as a patchwork quilt. Morning breakfast on the porch is loon time. "Oof, ooof, oof," they bark softly, and I'll admit that we go out on the ledge and call back to them. Later, we hear their heart rending calls to each other when they're separated.
Dragonflies and damselflies are everywhere, and yesterday when we were out paddling in our canoe, we had them landing on us to sun themselves. Painted turtles visited, a great blue heron posed for us, and on a nearby shore we spotted a brilliant patch of Cardinal flower. Maine memories stitched into my heart.
Last week I was ALMOST feeling ready to travel and the gulls jarred me out of my reveries. They circled above a commotion of mackerel that were being chased by harbor seals and leaping porpoise. "How can we leave this?" I asked Jeff. "I don't know, but we ARE, we've paid for the tickets!"
Our good friends Bonny and Lee will be here to fill the hummingbird bottle and the bird feeder. They'll water plants, spend time watching the sea from our old porch rockers, lie in bed with the long path of moonshine glimmering on the walls, and gather stories about summer in Maine to share with us when we return.
Until then, we're off to Italy! One of my best girlfriends in the world (since Jr. high) will be there with her husband, and we're planning to meet and have some adventures together.
You won't hear from me until the beginning of October, but I will still enjoy hearing from YOU. I've loved the long, newsy e-mails from you and treasure your comments.