Monday, September 7, 2015
Notes from Summer's End
This summer took us back to Star Island, New Hampshire, one of our very favorite places in the entire world. We hadn't been in several years - since our last visit we have moved far enough away to make travel anywhere in the Northeast significantly challenging. But we couldn't resist the call another year, and so we drove through the night and into the wee hours of the next morning to catch the ferry that would shuttle us to our little rock in the sea.
The island can be gentle - a spider's web on a dewy morning, a hushed procession of lanterns climbing the hill through the dark to evening chapel. But with no tree cover and cliffs that drop sharply off to the open sea, it is also extreme. This tiny, enduring and exposed rock reminds you how precariously perched we are on the edge of the earth's wilderness and our own.
lecture series on creative engagement with place took us around the world to Spain, Cuba, New Mexico, South America and colonial New England as we learned about Ernest Hemingway, Georgia O'Keeffe, Charles Darwin, Franciso de Goya, and finally our speaker himself - and how these locations inspired and shaped their life's work.
Summer for us has been over for nearly a month - the children are long since back in school, daily life is back to a daily hustle, and New Hampshire once again seems impossibly far away. The week, though, has stayed with me. In addition to being exceptionally memorable time with family, and also wonderfully restorative, our time on Star opened up reflective space, space I've felt very short on in the last eighteen months, with creativity and any related efforts (modest though they may be) being the most neglected as a result. But sometimes a fresh point of view and stepping out of your element help you find perspective and put you back in touch with an essential part of yourself - perhaps the best reason of all to go adventuring.
Happy reading - and happy exploring!