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Labor Day

Posted 9/2/2013

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     It has been cool and rainy (with some periods of pouring sheets of rain) all day here on Mt Desert Island (MDI). Three years ago we came here for Labor Day weekend immediately after buying a tiny cottage (described by a dear friend as loking like "an oversized out house) on a spectacular piece of land. We knew that the structure was going to be gutted, so it didn't matter too much what kind of shape it was in. We were, however, not prepared for the oven that threw off such heat that we only turned it on once or the barely dripping water pressure in the shower or the overall feeling of grime and grit and disuse--and certainly not prepared for the giant leaks in the living room roof. It rained that weekend, too, and we decorated the foor with strategically placed pots and bowls.

  The morning after the worst of the rain (when I lay awake some of the night wondering whether the nearby dead tree might crash through the leaking roof and kill us right in the bed), the sun came out. And we took mugs of coffee outside to sit on a big rock, out toes practically in the sea, and remembered why we had fallen in love with this spot. We watched that morning, as we have watched many mornings since then, the plovers and ospry and hawks and gulls and numerous tiny birds swooping above us. We gazed at the beautiful blue heron who picked her elegant way through shallow water. We inhaled the strong scents of pine and salt water and marvelous clear, clear air. And we gave thanks.

  Three years later, we have begun to build a history and a family tradition here. We have taught the grandchildren the importance of rolling down the car windows and yelling "YAY! WHOPPEE! HURRAY!"  as one crossed the bridge to the island the first time of each visit.  We have respected the need to consume lots of ice cream and at least one lobster each trip. We have hiked, over and over, our favorite mountains and remembered other days and other trails. We have savored the peace and tranquility and great natural beauty of this place and this park, and have, always, given thanks.

  I suspect that you know exactly what I think about then I offer up thanksgiving. It isof course, for the specifics of people and place, but it is mostly for being aliv. None of us have been promised anything, and we take nothing for granted. As this summer draws to a close, I, with you, give thanks. And look forward to the glories of a New England autumn, knowing that we will treasure those days, too.

  And, in a nod, to Labor Day. Years ago, my daughter lived in Seattle, and I was quite taken with the huge Hammering Man statue outside of the Seattle Art Museum. He hammers 364 days each year, but on Labor Day, he rests.  http://seattleartmuseum.org/visit/hammerman.asp

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