A day of stillness on the coast of Maine: Changing tides, changing light

After weeks of constant movement, I reveled in a day of stillness at the rustic, unpretentious cottage on Mt. Desert Island on the coast of Maine.Sitting still, I watched the tide flow out and back in again, the Swan’s Island Ferry move back and forth across the horizon, the first glow of the morning light grow to mid-day strength, the sun drop in the sky casting golden light on the cobble stone beach, ducks feed and move out, a fritillary butterfly open and close its wings in the sun and a bald eagle pass over. Our old dog felt the difference too; with nothing pressing, I sat on the grass with her and unhurriedly rubbed her ears.

Claw-footed tub view

I wrote this sitting barefoot in a lawn-chair a few feet from the seawall with a mug of green tea and a warm, soft breeze drying my hair after a mid-afternoon luxurious soak in the claw-footed tub. Picture sitting in toasty warm water in an old, deep cast-iron tub positioned in a yellow patch of late summer sun, listening to the gentle waves of the incoming tide lap the shoreline while gazing out the window at a view of the Blue Hill Bay. Ah . . . heaven!

Rolling stones

The tide, though impressive in height,
comes in gently.
The cluster of islands four miles out
softening the waves of the open sea.

Wave, wave, wave, wave.
Splash, splash, splash;
the water drains back down the sloped shore-line
rolling the stones like a handful of marbles.
Listen. Wave, splash, schlurk.

The shapes, textures and colors of the stones
intrigue me;
most are smooth and rounded, some almost polished.
Why are others worn away in angular, even jagged shapes
as if chiseled by a stone-cutter?

Beach treasures

Ah, here’s a sea urchin
and a chunk of rounded sea-glass.
Wave, wave, splash, schlurk.

The rocks tumble and roll in the incessant waves
Tide in, tide out
Day in, day out
Wave, wave, splash, schlurk.

Island Dawn
On island time
the diesel engines of the lobster boats
sound at 6:00 a.m.

their morning alarm
revealed a curtain of white.
Fog draped the morning view,
gathering the world in close
with only the nearby point and lobster pots visible.

This morning,
I saw from the window
the outline of Swan’s Island across the bay
crisp against the bands of
golden orange and red of the sunrise.

First light with moon setting

Morning fog. View to the point.

Other Maine photos:


Afternoon light – Seal Harbor

Misty morning – Ship Harbor Trail


Sunset at Seal Harbor

4 thoughts on “A day of stillness on the coast of Maine: Changing tides, changing light

  1. SCHLURK is right!! You nailed that one Cyndi! While I was reading your words I kept thinking I wish she could have at least 2 weeks there to continue the healing, the quiet, the peace and as Heidi said, the awakenings. I so appreciated your vivid descriptions, the ones I always look for and find whenever I go to a peaceful place like this. Best Kari


  2. Awesome blog….it’s wonderful to identify, explore, and relish in interests and awakenings that were waiting to be discovered after 18+ years being a working mom in a busy family life!


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