Just back from a week in Maine, my first real vacation in four years. A relief to get out of the sticky Hudson Valley high summer heatwave and up to the cooler climate and untamed nature farther north. One highlight of the trip was an overnight stay on Monhegan Island, where I took this picture. What constantly impressed me, about the flora as well as the fauna (humans included!), is how living things take advantage of whatever growing medium and season they have. Lichen growing on and in even the smallest crevices of rocks, seagulls hunting and caring for their fluffy grey young, humans reveling in the bounty of the season at farmers’ markets. In Maine, there’s no time for the nonsense that we so often get caught up in. The place is remote, the winters are long and harsh. Everything seems to be saying, “This is my life, I’d better¬†make the most of it.”¬†May Sarton, one of my favorite Maine writers, was an avid gardener, and viewed the act of gardening as a way of staying in touch with the rhythms and demands of nature. Here’s how she put it:
“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.”