Saturday, August 6, 2011

Off Course and Loving It

After a great rocking show at the Maine Lobster Festival, I was hoping to get back out aboard Sweet Pea today. The wind forecast was for 5 to 10 knots. The actual wind arrives at 16 knots, so I'm off the boat for the day. My mind immediately shifts to: how do I get some slow-down? I've been hauling hard or flying, driving to and from performances for weeks and would like to just take up space for a day. Other plans are presented, so Ryan, Fiona and I set off for a very soulful old empty house off the beaten track on the island. It has an enormous chestnut tree that we like to climb and hang around in.

Before we get there, we're drawn to raspberries and end up picking a quart of them and going home with a pint or so.

The big mama chestnut tree is there waiting for us in the overgrown yard behind the farmhouse. We climb. Here's the thing: my fears are weaker these days, and I am having more fun. I took a spontaneous opportunity for a radio interview yesterday. Wouldn't have done that. Jumped into a songwriting contest. Wouldn't have done that. Went swimming in the river in Bowdoinham, reached out to others, taken some leaps. It's some middle aged peeling off of layers of intimidation. Or possibly, it's my bleached hair. In any case, I decide to climb as high as I can get in the tree. There are many points of vulnerability in climbing a big tree- gaps between good handholds, awkward places where I have to get around to the other side of the trunk, commitments that need to get made before the security of the next resting place. Even with all the zinging inside that comes from heights and climbing, I keep going and emerge from the upper part of the tree, higher than the chimney on the house.

After an hour or so of climbing, talking and daydreaming, we three decide to head off into the woods to see the cool old 1960's era Impala, Rambler and pickup truck decomposing in the forest, then come out behind Watkinson's and go up the road for a donut. We've done this ramble before so I was surprised how much it had grown in and how much the old cars had deteriorated since our last visit. We had many yards of head-high (on me) brambles to thrash through. We managed, and found some early blackberries along the way to spice up the earlier harvest.

I don't think we ever got more than a quarter mile from home, but it sure was a nice adventure; each part starting from an intention and going in some unexpected course.

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