My dad says life is seldom pure and I agree. The thought gives me pause and I seek out the memory of the last time I felt one of those moments of rare purity. I can think of two. Nothing recent comes to mind, which bothers me.
Last May, Joal and I took a real vacation, alone, to Bar Harbor, Maine. Four days. No sons in sight. No work in sight. Nothing. Just Joal and Sarah. Two people who have been married almost half their lives, but who actually share precious little time face to face alone. Quiet. I love to travel, with and without the boys. I love to go to new places and experience all those places have to offer. I embraced fully everything about Bar Harbor. We ate crabcakes, lobster rolls, and other seafood delectables. We stayed at a small, privately owned, non-chain hotel right on Main Street in Bar Harbor. We walked the Shore Path. I shopped at Window Panes, Fabricate, and all the other little shops in Bar Harbor. We drove through Acadia National Park. We put our feet in the frigid water at Sand Beach. We ate ice cream from at least twice a day. We dined on blueberry pancakes 3 mornings in a row. We took a voyage out across Frenchman's Bay on board the lovely Margaret Todd.
On the last day of our stay, we made our second trek to Acadia, because we hadn't gotten enough of it the first time around. To say that the views of Acadia are breath-taking is the understatment of the decade. We stood atop Cadillac Mountain, agahst at the yawn of all of creation--the blue Bay with the little islands that dot it, the mountain, the little town of Bar Harbor by the water's edge that I had already come to love, the utterly perfect cloudless sky. I've spent the last year trying to adequatly describe how it felt to stand in the spot that is the first in America to catch the new rays of dawn every morning...how's that for getting a jump on the day? I wanted to inhale it deep. I wanted to capture it on film. I wanted to draw it in and bring it home with me. I felt so small standing on the cleft of such a monumental place and yet, the God of all Creation seemed to be saying "I do this for you. Stop and take it in."
It stopped me.
I am so rarely still.
Life was quiet.
It was a pure moment.
We stayed as long as we could and on the drive down the mountain, I cried. It was a deep ugly cry, without explanation. Tears of declaration and relief. My life has been better since that day. The views have vanished, except what I did manage to put into pixels, but that moment of sheer clarity, of knowing that the God of Creation lives inside me, shifted the axis of my heart. It was wordless and pure, and I something from which I will never recover.