Friday, March 27, 2009

Sequin Island Light

From Videos

From Videos

Last summer, I went to Seguin Island with friends. Afterward, I made this is video about the island and it's history. Sequin is a landmark familiar to most of us on Casco Bay. We see it off in the distance and hear the fog horn lowing in the night. But, not all of us get to 'know' her by going on the island. There is no anchorage and only five moorings maintained by the Coast Guard. Tying up is on a first come, first serve basis. To get to the island from the moorings requires a dingy or a good cold swim. I did go swimming while out there. The second I dove in I thought I had lost my mind and would surely have a heart attack. The water was so cold it sucked the breathe right out of me! Going onto an island by boat brings out the little kid in everyone. You can't help but think about pirates, ship wrecks, or being stranded. It stirs up feelings of adventure and as with any good adventure, feelings of vulnerability. What if you got stuck out there, or lost at sea along the way? Would you have what it takes to live out there?In the past, light house keepers have lived there year round. The island would have been a mean block of ice with no way off. Now, The Friends of Sequin ( - a non profit organization that maintains the light and keeper's facility) has 'keepers' just for the summer. The positions are already filled through 2010. In the summer, it's magic. The 360 degree vistas of the ocean are breathaking. You feel closer to heaven on top of that rock and more so up in the lighthouse tower. There's nothing quite like salt air and the Atlantic Ocean to make you feel really alive.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Psycho Season

Spring, ‘The Psycho Season’ is upon us. I wish it would just make up its mind and stay sunny and warm. But, oh no, one day it’s fifty and I’m thinking about applying sunscreen to my face; then the next, it’s twenty-five and snowing. The day I took the photo of the crocuses in the snow, it had been in the low fifties. Those sunny, dear little flowers emerged opening their faces to skyward. They were so na├»ve. WHAM! The next day, we had a blizzard that dropped a foot of wet, heavy snow and buried them. I thought for sure that they would be crushed, probably done for - much like I was. How does a person plan a wardrobe when the weather does this every year? Not that I plan a wardrobe. It’s just that I do so admire women who have seasonal wardrobes. It sounds so grown up. In summer, they pack away winter clothes and vice versa. Me? I have to have all of my clothing available at all times. Had I put away my winter attire when that blizzard hit, I would have been flapping around yelling “The sky is falling!” in a tank top. A tank top? Now that’s wishful thinking! If I had been wearing a garment as absurd as that, my sagging upper arms would surely have knocked senseless any passerby. I’ve never had a healthy body image, but spring brings out the worst of my neurosis. As the trend toward warmer days becomes more consistent and I get busier in the garden, I start to shed layers of clothing. Down vests, fleeces, doubled-up socks come off. They aren’t far way, only shed along the way toward full blown summer. Like the skin of a snake that has rubbed its body past rocks and sticks, my clothing can be found in chairs, slung over the newel post, hung on door knobs from one end of the house to the other.
Three days ago, I went outside in full, cold spring weather regalia and started pulling weeds. There was a biting north west wind coming across the water, but the sun was high in the sky. Working up a sweat, I started to peel off layers of clothes. I tossed a fleece over the passenger’s side rear view mirror of my car. Later, having forgotten about the fleece, I decided to take a run to the post office. When I turned out of the driveway onto the main road and picked up speed, in my peripheral vision I caught a great black flapping movement that scared the be-Jesus out of me. For an instant, I thought there was an eagle on my car. But, that was wishful thinking. How can I hope to be less erratic if the planet isn’t? I swell and shrink just like the planet, too. Just how much I swell is obvious every time I bend over to pull weeds. I think I might pass out! Over the winter, I’ve gotten fat. One advantage to a climate where bulky clothing is required is the degree of denial it affords. In the fall, as the clothes pile on, it creeps up on me - evil little fat monsters sneaking up and jumping onto my body, clinging to me until spring. Then, when the sun comes out, they are revealed. As my activity increases, they fall off, but for a while, I have to live with them. Secretly, sometimes, I’m thankful when the weather turns foul along the way to summer. I can put clothes back on, cover up my monsters, and sit and write.