For two days I wandered around Mount Desert Island. Sometimes with my best friend Sarah, but often alone. It was my first time on the island with no commitments other than to take photos. In places I hadn’t been before, I wandered. At Hunter’s Cove, I spread my body in the shape of a star and listened to the water turn against the rocks. I breathed in and out and felt my lungs expand and my body mold to the earth. And with my mind calmer than it had been for weeks, I stood up and began to walk again.
When Sarah was free, we drove over to the other side of the island and got lost trying to find Seal Cove Pond. If she hadn’t been with me, I might’ve been a little scared. The woods were darker and more foreboding than usual and I seemed to get sicker by the minute… sniffling and sneezing the whole way.
The orange ferns stood in bright contrast to the dark trees and when we finally made it to the pond, the sun was low behind the clouds and we turned around and headed home.
The next day we headed out to Lakewood. The sky was overcast and I knew we wouldn’t have much time before the rain. As we came around the last bend, we were startled by a park ranger at the end of the road. From a distance, we could see him standing with one hand against his car, his other arm on his hip.
I didn’t have a park pass so we drove slowly on, stuck, prolonging the time before we might possibly get in trouble, both laughing at our chances of running into a park ranger. As we drove up, he motioned for us to stop. He came over and started talking, a lot. When we explained we were going to take photos for a guide book about the lakes and ponds of MDI, he asked to come. Sarah and I both eyed his gun and said okay, feeling like we had no choice, but bummed that our group of two was now three.
As we walked further into the woods to the lake, my mind went wild with possibilities… two girls found murdered… you know, those kinds of stories. But we survived. After walking to Lakewood, the park ranger led us to Fawn Pond and then back to our cars. We drove on to the safe lights of Bar Harbor and delicious pizza as the rain began.
We ate. We drank. We ran in the rain. We watched the presidential debates. We curled up on the couch and fell asleep.
In the moments between, I looked at Sarah and wondered how we would get on hundreds of miles apart.
I’ve wondered this times before, for sure. And every time, I find comfort in the poem ‘i carry your heart with me (i carry it in’ by e.e.cummings.
1i carry your heart with me(i carry it inmy heart)i am never without it(anywherei go you go,my dear;and whatever is doneby only me is your doing,my darling)i fearno fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i wantno world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meantand whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows(here is the root of the root and the bud of the budand the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which growshigher than soul can hope or mind can hide)and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)