Thoughts from "being there": Our island weekend

It seems a shame that after a 5 day trip away from home I only have time to write one measly post about our getaway. I have too much else to share this week to spend any more time than that remembering in words our wonderful extended weekend. (More photos from our trip at this post.)

I read a quote from Annie Dillard's book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek this weekend that gives a glimpse into why I value being out in nature, away from home. And why I think it's worth all the effort and preparation to get there. (The book by the way is not my favorite and I don't plan on reading past page 10, I just can't get into it.)

The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.

For me, spending time outdoors with my family is about choosing to "be there". To be in a place and space where I can see all the beauty of creation and soak in it, be challenged by it, appreciate it, revel and awe in it; to be changed and renewed.

I'd love to tell you all about our trip but you know... the fridge is empty, the laundry is piled up (it's raining yet again which makes catching up difficult), the buying club order needs to get done and there's over 300 hundred photos to sift through.

camp latte: it doesn't get better than this

So here's just a few random memories

  • our campsite on the edge of a cliff with the view of the Bay of Fundy from our picnic table
  • the early morning thunderstorms that sent us running to the car for protection
  • snacking on locally harvested dulse bought at the Saturday morning Farmer's Market
  • sharing the experience with my parents and their gourmet camp cooking (my dad made that latte)
  • hiking along an ocean cliff trail in the fog - warning the children to not run ahead for fear of falling over
  • the sound of the surf and the foghorn's consistent warning day and night
  • Brienne losing her first top tooth
  • napping on the beach when the sun finally did break through
  • glowing camp fires along the cliffs
  • the screech of gulls and chatting of birds
  • feasting on wild strawberries
  • children dirtier and happier than I thought possible
  • ferries and fishing boats
  • the juniper-scented ocean air, breathing never smelled so good

early morning thunderstorm: seeking shelter in the car

on the trail: that's a long way down

I'm happy to be home and to be wearing clean and dry clothes but I really miss having this as my nighttime backyard view.

« More strawberries and a summer haiku
The greens report & recipes »
  • nicola

    nicola on July 8, 2009, 3:30 a.m.

    oh, renee...beautiful photos. i understand the business of life taking over the moment one walks in the door, but the memories in your own head make it so worthwhile, don't they? and brienne and her first tooth! WOW! oh, and i had a huge grin over the latte and your parents' gourmet camp cooking. i learned a love of so many things you and i both appreciate from my parents....frugality, camping, nature. and i have especially fond memories of camp cooking. for a lonnngg time, the only time i would eat eggs was when we were camping. they just tasted better! nicola


  • Shawna

    Shawna on July 8, 2009, 4:14 a.m.

    beautiful. my best friend visited here when we were kids and i've always wanted to go since. she couldn't stop talking about the cliffs and was sad that her pictures didn't do them justice. your photos are beautiful. makes me want to go camping right now!


  • Tricia

    Tricia on July 12, 2009, 8:23 p.m.

    Just found your blog through Beauty that Moves. I, too, live in Maine. You're camping photos look amazing. Would you mind telling where this is exactly? It looks like the kind of camping spot my husband and I would love.


    • renee

      renee on July 13, 2009, 2:41 a.m.

      Tricia, I wrote all about it over at our family blog ADVENTUREinPROGRESS. Grand Manan island, off the coast of New Brunswick.


  • Alicia

    Alicia on July 13, 2009, 12:43 p.m.

    As I scrolled down through the photos here, I kept thinking each was my favorite, and then I'd see the next. Beautiful, beautiful photos!

    Alicia's last blog post... The New Apartment


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