Protected Places

I woke today, to the news of the people who formed a human chain in order to save swimmers drowning in a riptide, yesterday, off the shore of Panama City, FL. In this time, with all our nation's partisan fighting and generalized social depression that makes some people want to isolate from the rest of the world, close us off from incoming immigrants and refugees, and hunker down--to what, I don't know--a story like this redeems and renews my faith in the ability of people to put their personal welfare aside for the sake of others: 

“To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers is absolutely amazing to see!! People who didn’t even know each other went HAND IN HAND IN A LINE, into the water to try and reach them. Pause and just IMAGINE that.” Jessica Simmons, one of the rescuers.

"Pause and just IMAGINE that." I can and I will store that away for future times when I feel disheartened. 

There are lone individuals, also taking action to make the world, or at least our country, better. Brent Rose visited the 27 National Monuments on the chopping block of our new President. His effort led to more than 2,000,000 people sending in personal comments to try to save them. Monumental action by one lone man. 

My husband and I spent the Fourth of July in a precious place, kayaking from island to island, part of the Maine Island Trail. These islands are either purchased by the Maine Island Trail Association, or private owners permit public usage of their island, to people wanting to explore and treasure these special places. It was a gorgeous day, a rarity this summer, and as we paddled up to various pocket beaches, we were greeted by the smell of wild rosa rugosa and plethora of daisies, wild lilies, and the white and pink blooms of the rugosa. 

This, the access to this protected place, is what rewards us for living here. Maine is not the easiest place, climate-wise, to inhabit. It is not the lengthy cold winters that bother me, it is the drabby, rain-drenched days and weeks that fray the rather fragile threads of my mood. The worst of those wet, battle-ship-gray days are in spring. We do not have spring here, not like other places. We have "mud season" and it is not pretty. The fact that mud season seeps in right after a long winter, leads to a condition known here as "woods crazy." Meaning people have been holed up too long, isolated by the elements, and become desperate for change. 

On this day, mud season and watery days were no where on the horizon of my mind. Just sun, crushed shells, brine and sweet-scented wildflowers were all I could see. I breathe deeper here. Any tension melts and is swept aside. 

The houses of Stonington village appear as beads against the neckline of spruce hills of the mainland. Gulls cry and terns dive. Sails are billowed. And, I am healed. My spirit bouyed, by this protected place.