As I walk to work or in downtown Camden, along familiar routes, I come to realize just how much I've been taking all this for granted. The fact that I can walk to the library, the market, the harbor, the park, and work. The smell of the ocean. The wonderful weather. The early morning Autumn fog rolling over the nearby Camden Hills. The golden sunlight.
Good, local food. The charming feel of everything. The BEAUTIFUL houses and churches.
I don't think I will ever find a living situation as ideal as the one I have with Kathy. The location, the room, HER.
I'm filled with mixed emotions as I come to my last week and 1/2.
Every time I am with the Young Women I feel this tragic sense of parting. These girls (and women) have changed my life here. And it doesn't help that they "pretend" resent me for leaving.
When I think of all I have in Camden and in Maine-all that I am going to be leaving-I heave a great sigh of regret. One that is exclusively related to where I live and the friends I have made, NOT to the place I work.
I am counting down the HOURS until I am done here. It gets harder and HARDER to get myself out of the warm covers and get ready for work.
As I walk the 5.6 miles I take to Merryspring, I drink in every sight and smell. The air is filled with the scent of wood burning fires. Something you can sometimes smell in Columbia in the right place at the right time. But this is something that I imagine every native of Maine has come to associate with these months of chilly mornings. Someday I will live in a house heated by wood stove and I will adore it. Every morning, as I walk into this shallow valley boardered by the river I am met with fog. This gets kind of scary, walking on an almost non-existent shoulder with cars driving by too fast. But I usually flash my head lamp at them to let them know I am there. If I am lucky, the fog is restricted to the river and mountains and I am awarded with a spectacular view. I love the way the sun shines through the trees and mists in the morning. The crows, chickadees, and blue-jays fill the early hours with their chorus.
And guess what? If you didn't hear, New England got Hammered with a huge October winter storm. Camden only got maybe 3-4 inches but only 1/2-1 inch in terms of accumulation (it rained before and after so it melted a lot)-it's those ocean breezes. Even a couple miles inland they were getting more accumulation than us(around 4-6 inches). It was still a sight to behold-SNOW in October.
Here are some pictures of the morning after.
This is an old house that was built in the 1800's!
Another slightly older and BEAUTIFUL house. I want to live here. It's got land, it has a view of the river, and it's close to town! And it's red. LOVE it.
Halloween also happened. Thank you SO much to all those who helped with my costume (Emily, Melanie, Elise,) and thanks to those who were so WILLING to help (Beckie, Tamara). I LOVE that all of you rose to the call. You have no idea how wonderful it feels to have that kind of support even as I am so far away.
You wanted a picture and this is the best on that was taken of me.
This is me at the Trunk-or-treat with the Young Women. Next to me is Riley and next to her is Laura. Both AMAZING girls.
Fall color has been easing away but we've still has some late bloomer flashes.
A line of red maples on my way home from work.
Just outside Merryspring is this house that is used as a meeting center for a church. I think a family lives there also. This is their cat amongst the pumpkins.
And just for Gicks and Kiggles here is a view up the smokestack that is the tallest point on the Camden skyline.
I really have come to love this place and all it has to offer. I felt the more at home here than I have any other place I have been (besides Columbia).
Leaving New Hampshire was about leaving a little piece of woodsy paradise and 30 new friends.
Leaving Camden is like leaving a piece of myself. A part of me that I have come to find and hope that I never lose. I thought I learned a lot about myself last year, but here, I BECAME myself.
I can't help but think that if there was a way to come back to Camden in the future that I would do it. That some part of me will always be trying to find a way to come back. I mean, I've kept finding ways to get to the east coast-maybe something is drawing me there.
Well-who knows. My stress level has decreased. And I'm doing fine. I'm not depressed because I am leaving and I am not DESPERATE to be home.
In my heart I know what going home really means. It is a step. Something that I need to do to put me on the path to whatever is next. I know that I'm not going to stay there forever. And I can't help but feel that I am not leaving HERE forever.
I explained it to Kathy this way: I have nothing but my branch family and the beauty of Maine keeping me HERE and nothing but a loving family and a precious dog pulling me home. Not that THOSE things are nothing-but there is this void of purpose in either location (at the current moment). But I know that I'll get to where I need to go. And that void will be filled sooner or later.
Time kind of coasts and I begin to fill the thrill one gets when things are almost done. Where you can REALLY see the end. Like the end of Finals week in school. But at the same time it's almost like the feeling you get at the end of summer. The knowledge that something wonderful is coming to an end.
Like I said-mixed emotions.