Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I could say so much about my vacation. Ocean Point, Maine is old in my family. Eighty-five years ago my grandparents emigrated from England to Maine and met the Sillimans, who were to become their lifelong friends. For many years, their family summered here and my mother later brought me all the way from California to see it as a child.
I haven't been in nine years. This time, my cousins, children, mother all came together and set my grandmother's ashes adrift on the waves in the exact location she had dictated. I think she would have been very pleased. Then we had a vacation. We sent the kids and men mackerel fishing and shopped in Boothbay Harbor. One day I tripled my painkillers and we trekked out on the granite coastline to visit the caves my mother and I knew the names of and to examine a tide pool large enough to swim in, which we know as Diana's Bath. We petted sharks and squirted clams. The air smelled of balsam and ocean tide. My children fell in love with the Atlantic coast and Rowan talked about a fruit copyrighting scheme so he can become rich enough enough to buy us property there. They saw Boston and Mikalh marched around the Commons with a tri-corner hat, engaging the costumed Freedom Trail guides in conversation. You could almost hear the footsteps of Paul Revere as you walked the cobblestone streets.
I would send us on vacation if I had to spend every last penny to do so. I would get us out where my kids could thrill in the dialect of another America altogether, where they could imagine living someplace other than our little town at the top of the sky. Worse than the poverty of the wallet is the poverty of the spirit that would leave us clinging like desperate barnacles to one rock for the rest of our lives.
I am home and my house is aclutter with suitcases. My email is full of things to which I must respond. School registration packets have begun to arrive and the lawn needs mowed. I would go back to sleep, clutching a balsam pillow to my face listening to what might be the sound of an ocean in my ears. I would reach through my dreams and touch that springing moss and granite coastline. I would not wake until I could go there again.
Faith in Ambiguity by Tara Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License