The summer before my mom met my dad, as amazingly or as ill-fated as that event may have been, she was all set to pull up her Midwestern roots and head east for the Maine coast. Maybe it was the call of my pre-conception potential or desire that made her stay and wait for my dad. Maybe. But I think that it was perhaps even deeper than that and that maybe she heard the call of her potential grandkids, my kids.
Before I fell for Chris, when I was 25, I was in relationship with a young man from Southern Maine. I would travel with him every summer for 3 years to visit his family and the tidal rivers and coastlines of Maine. The summer after I stopped going with him, I went with Chris. And just about every summer since. Chris' Maine roots are deep. Multi-generational. When we first visited his family's summer cottage on a small island off of Mount Desert, his grandmother was still summering there. She has since passed, but the echo of her spirit lives on in the place as does her mother's and sisters' and husband's and daughter's, Chris' mother. There is lineage there and it is deep. And Maple and Eider are a part of that. They are in and of that place in a way that is just pain magic to me. But not exactly me. I am different from that. I love that place and it is profound and there is a drive to be there in me that is well beyond my understanding of connection to place. But I have come to believe that that intensity of feeling in me is what guided me to fulfill my role as carrier or conduit for our kids. They were calling me there. So that they could be there. For so long. Forever.
Years ago, a yoga friend of mine who grew up summering on MDI, used a hashtag in an IG post that made so much sense to me that I lifted it. I think that bummed her out and not understanding social media etiquette as well then as I do now, I probably really shouldn't have snagged it. Sorry about that. It was #myheartshome. And that is it exactly. Beyond time, beyond space. It is a deep love. And only ever deepening. This year in the weeks before our annual departure I could see my kids re-orienting toward their time in Maine. As though the season was letting them know that the time had come for them to fly (drive) east. Talking with other parents this summer on the island, it turns out this is the way of it for many island children. Or the adults remember feeling that way when they were growing up. And feeling it still now.
I think it is becoming cumulative for me as well. I feel an ever deeper sense of authentic belonging on our island home. And this year more than ever the contrast in our return to the Upper Midwest. Like everything feels a little flipped on its head. A little off. A bit out of place.
As ever, there is the learning edge for me. I am learning about who I am. Past, Present, Future. Learning who I am in the continuum of family. By birth and by choice.