Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Schoodic Point, Acadia National Park, Maine: July 2009

Acadia National Park, Maine consists of two parts. One is located on Mt. Desert Island the other on the mainland. In July 2009, I revisited Schoodic Point, an area of Acadia I had not seen in fifty years. The day was grey and it had rained. Few people were on the granite promontory. Though not stormy, the sea lifted up and rushed towards the massive, seemingly solid indestructible granite, sweeping in again and again. As it hurled itself against the stolid stone, it burst, exploded into the air, changing from grey, to aquamarine, to white froth and then again back to grey, devolving again into the depths, pulled away by animate Okeanos, the restless god, breathing, roiling, readying himself for the next encounter with unyielding Gaia.
Time had not altered the topography of Schoodic Point in my memory, but fifty years earlier it was hot, sunny, the sky blue. The sun's brilliance had warmed the rocks and their deep red color was vivid. Then, I visited the park with friends; we drove north from Colby College. The summer of 1959. My dear friend Tony (Anthony) Roberts and I cavorted on the great boulders, jumping on their steps, and finally coming to rest alongside one another. We listened, we looked.
And even earlier, in 1948, I had seen Schoodic Point. That summer my parents stayed in East Sullivan, Maine, where they rented rooms in a simple house. What do I remember of the building? It was a white clapboard structure, perhaps two stories high, and my room had a window seat and gauzy white curtains that ballooned like sails, as the sea air rushed into the room. That room left an indelible imprint in my memory: a sense of whiteness, freshness to be sought but never actually found again. Three summers, each memorable: 7, 17, 67. Three ages, three life experiences.

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