This past weekend was a special one. It was a 'get-away' weekend with my husband to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. It was a nice opportunity for us to spend some quality time together, without the distractions of our daily, crazy busy life. It evolved into so much more. The gifts of this weekend were unexpected and amazing. I was not only gifted with the chance to reconnect with my husband, but also to recharge my batteries. I am solar powered and find such peace and happiness being one with nature. I am filled with gratitude on so many levels.
First, we drove to Maine for our little mini-moon. We stayed at an absolutely divine bed and breakfast called the Inn at Ocean's Edge. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a quiet, romantic B+B. The grounds were beautiful and peaceful. Our room was warm and inviting, complete with a gas fireplace and a jacuzzi tub for two! The common rooms had a cozy atmosphere, with sofas and large chairs inviting you to curl up with a cup of tea and a book. There was an amazing infinity pool (too cold for me!), a hot tub and a pool house with every amenity you could think of. By the ocean were cozy lounge chairs where you could nap, read, or simply gaze at the bay. The view was peaceful. Stairs led to the rocky beach. It's hard to put into words the beauty and serenity of this place. Perhaps a few photos will do it justice.
|The view from our room|
|Sunrise, through our window (and screen)|
After breakfast we headed north for a 90 minute drive to Acadia National park. The weather was spectacular. Not a cloud in the sky. The scenery along the way was beautiful. When we reached the Visitor center we learned two things. It was National park day and admission was free and it was the festival of the night sky. For two people who have a love of stargazing, this was exciting news! We enjoyed the day driving the park loop road. Our first stop was sand beach. We walked the beach. The first time my toes have touched sand this year!! I dipped my toes in the ocean but, brrrrr! We enjoyed a leisurely stroll. I even found two sand dollars! I love sand dollars!
Next, we stopped off for a hike up the Gorham Mountain Trail, a moderate hike of about an hour up a rocky trail with spectacular views of Bar Harbor and the area islands. I even found some love on the trails.
We also partook of lunch and the famous popovers at the Jordan Pond House. Delicious!
|I love paths|
|View atop Cadillac Mountain|
We ended our day atop Cadillac Mountain where we watched a gorgeous sunset from the summit.
|A bit of meditation as the sun set. The cool air and warmth on my face was wonderful.|
|It's all about balance...|
We hung around until dark for the star party! There were over 30 astronomers, some with amazingly powerful kick-ass telescopes trained on nebulae, star clusters, galaxies and specific stars. We were able to peek through their telescopes and see for ourselves. Definitely an unexpected gift! Being atop a mountain, surrounded by ocean, means very little ambient light. The sky was stunning to the naked eye. I've seen the Milky Way from my house. It looks no where near as defined as it did from Acadia! We took our blanket and found a spot to lay down on the rock and watched the sky for quite some time.
We pondered age-old questions. Are we alone in the Universe? How insignificant are we and our 'problem's when we realize how truly small we are in the grand scheme of things? We saw a few shooting stars. We saw constellations we strain to see from home. We marveled at the difference and the stark beauty of our Universe. It was quite romantic as we lay there, holding hands under the stars, no words needed. Love. Appreciation. Connectedness to each other, aware of what we had to go through to find each other in such a vast place. Yes, that. It's worth nurturing. We did. In spades.
Sunday morning I woke to another lovely sunrise although today it was through an ebbing and flowing fog bank. I grabbed some hot tea and wandered out for a walk around 7 am. It was silent except for the calls of some gulls and sea birds. I was blissfully alone on the beach. The sun danced upon the calm waters. As I walked down the wooden stairs to the beach, I could hear the tide receding through the rocks that were the beach. I sat on the bottom step and closed my eyes. I felt the warm sun on my face and smiled. I heard the ocean whispering to me. I felt the cool morning air warming by the minute. It was a beautiful spot to meditate. After some time, I decided to wander the beach. It was slow going walking over the rocks. I enjoyed being fully present. I noticed the rocks. All different shapes, sizes and colors. Smoothed and shaped by Mother Nature as she tossed them in the waves and sand. The most natural rock tumbler you can get! I found several in the shape of hearts. Can you see the love?
|Stairs to the rocky beach|
|The fog rolling in|
|The ocean. Calm as the tide drifted out.|
|Sun rising. Gorgeous.|
|This one is bigger than it looks. I so wanted to bring it home.|
|Tokens of love.|
After another delicious breakfast, we headed toward home. A detour to the beach of my youth, where my family used to vacation every year when I was a kid into my teen years. We drove the old familiar way, past the landmarks I loved and remembered so well. We parked (for free! The unexpected abundance continues!) at Old Orchard Beach and headed straight for some Pier Fries. I have no idea why, but they are the best french fries ever! Then we walked the beach. The tide was beginning to come in. The water was a bit warmer than at Sand Beach, so I walked in the surf with my jeans rolled up. As I've done on this beach since I was a kid, my eyes were trained for sand dollars.
My grandmother got me hooked on shelling for sand dollars when I was a kid. My husband marveled as I found one, then two, then another, and another, until I had 8 in my hand. I wish I had a pail! I did get a bit more wet than I intended but one forgets about waves when focused on that sand dollar! I was so happy. I was happy to walk on the beach, to commune with the ocean and her cleansing qualities. To feel the sun on my face, and to reconnect with my youth. I thought about the meaning this stretch of sand has held for me in my life, I remembered certain snippets of my childhood. I thanked my grandmother (now in Heaven) for teaching me to hunt sand dollars and for guiding me to find the ones I did today. I was grateful to share it with my husband, who walked with me, but apart from me, shoes still on, away from the surf.
I paused. I thanked the Universe for this gift. For all the gifts of this weekend. Not only did my husband and I have a wonderful weekend together, reconnecting and celebrating us, but I reconnected to ME. Through nature. With nature. And love. Huh. Always comes back to love.