Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Sojourn - Back Cove of Casco Bay

I lay awake again last night listening to the sounds of deep winter, which had returned after the brief hint of spring we had last week. The soothing hoot of an owl, undoubtedly warning its rivals to stay away from his territory, was interrupted by the sporadic yip of a coyote who was communicating the same sentiment, I'm sure. 

As day broke, the hoots and yips gave way to the finches' chirps and the barking of the only-slightly-less-feral-than-the-coyote neighborhood dog. 

She leaves today, I thought with a heavy heart.

I don't mean to be maudlin about it. After all, how sad can I be that my daughter is doing what she loves to do in a city that is as beautiful as Portland, Maine? It's hardly tragic, for heaven's sake.

My Twin once passed on a compliment to me that she had received from one of her patients. A very compassionate and loving family practice physician, My Twin has a large and diverse patient population, and has endeared herself to families from every culture in the world. I am so proud to be Her Twin.

One of her patients (Chinese, I think) had been visiting with her about a level of depression she felt about her recently emptied nest. The patient felt a bit guilty about admitting that the absence of her children, despite their successes, had caused such pain. My Twin assured her that she felt the same way, and had shed many tears herself over the geographical distance between herself (in Palo Alto, CA) and her daughter (in New York City). 

"Oh, Doctor, you have the heart of an Asian mother," the patient had said with great sympathy to My Twin. "We love for our children to be close to us."

And so, she passed that comment on to me as I bemoaned the distance between myself and the Graceful One, and now we simply acknowledge as we commiserate that each of us has "the heart of an Asian mother." Somehow, it does help.

So on today's sojourn, I'll return to Portland with the Graceful One, though she won't see me. I'll walk across the street from her quaint little apartment, and take a hike around the back cove of Casco Bay, a beautiful 3.5 mile hike that is a microcosm of the entire state.

These pictures were taken last October at the end of a beautiful autumn season.

Sometimes the smallest trees are the most interesting.

Beauty above and beauty below

I really have no idea what kind of birds (or ducks) these are,
but they certainly enjoyed the marsh grass at the edge of the cove.

I have done many meditations from this bench.

Graceful old homes line the opposite side of the street along the cove.

Peeking through the grass at the edge of the cove...yes, it's my blog header!

As lovely as the homes are, the trees dwarf and outshine them all.

Suddenly, the path takes you into a quiet, secluded forest glen.

When you break out of the forest,
the pines and the sparkling blue water are there to greet you.

Serenity reigns.

A wise admonition is offered to those who take note
of the message on a marble bench as you leave the trail.

The music choice was easy today, as it was the song that accompanied the dawning of the day (in my head, at least) today. Fittingly, it is a cloudy, gray day in Weldon Spring, with more rain turning to snow expected this afternoon.  

But that's okay...I'm in Portland anyway.

I hope your day is filled with sunshine.


  1. Ahhh, Jo! I can so relate to this posting.

    Stacie living in Zurich means we see her twice a year and it's never enough time together. The only way I can even begin to cope is to know that she's very happy and has a truly loving husband. Her happiness and success means everything to me.

    Of course, if they ever have children, all bets are off and I'll be a truly obnoxious grandmother!

    The photos are beautiful.

  2. Thank you, Linda. Another similarity and saving grace is that both our daughters give us a lovely place in which to vacation!! I'd love to go there.

    I hadn't considered the possibility of not being near future grandchildren! You probably will need a little retirement Swiss chalet if that comes to pass.

    Thanks for walking with me today, Linda. Let's do it for real, soon!

  3. jo - i ache every morning when i say goodbye to my son and daughter as we each head our different directions. the day is coming when that goodbye will be for a much longer period of time and i am so entirely unprepared to handle it as i might wish i could. my heart's with you! thanks for the collection of beautiful photographs. steven

  4. Oh, Steven. I'm familiar with that ache. It began on the first day of preschool, and never really disappeared.

    If it's any consolation, I doubt there is anything one can do to adequately prepare for the separation, other than being completely in the moment when your children ARE with you.

    I have no doubt that you already do this, so, when they eventually leave the nest, you will will feel sadness, but no regrets.

    Much love to you today,

  5. unimaginably beautiful there in the Fall. You'll see her soon and Maine toward the end of winter.

  6. Thank you, Dubby.

    Maine toward the end of winter can be fierce. Last March there was a nor'easter that closed flooded highways and nearly shut down the city. It's something I'll never forget.

    I hope for something less intense this March


  7. Oh what a great walk and the music to accompany. You never cease to amaze me! I am so glad you got to spend a week with the Graceful one but I bet you'll see her soon.

    Love and peace to you today and always...

  8. Thank you, Vicki!

    Yes, I'll see her soon, but I guess a large part of my sadness comes from her being unable to see so much of the rest of the family for so long.

    The only thing we can do is savor the moments we have together, and I think we did that while she was home this time.

    Love and peaceful wishes to you, too, much as possible given the celebratory atmosphere around your house right now!

  9. Hello Jo - I've come over from Pat's Weaver of Grass blog. I never know what's going to attract me to read more of a blog, but yours surely calls me back.
    Why are we western mothers so hesitant about expressing our longing for our children? It seems to me that it must be the most natural thing if one has a happy relationship.

  10. Welcome, Pondside...what a pleasure to meet you. I just stole a glimpse at your blog and can't wait to get back there! Your "neck of the woods" is very beautiful.

    You ask a very good question, one which I've asked myself many times. You put it perfectly, too...we would naturally want to spend more time with anyone with whom we share a happy relationship, right?

    Thank you so much for visiting, and for the very kind words. I hope you'll come back often. ♥

  11. I am in awe of the relationship you have with your wonderful daughter. Wow!!

    Sorry she had to go home! That sucks.

  12. Onward and upward, though, yes?

    I have LOTS to look forward to!


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