Mainely Christmas

A Gift from the Sea
Christmas Tree-The Cottage-Wells, Maine
Long Shadows-Ogunquit Beach Maine
Season's End Ogunquit Beach
Clouds-Wells Cottage Maine
This is for You-Wells Beach Maine
Tidal Pool-Wells Beach Maine
Skipping Stones-Wells Beach, Maine
Starshine-Wells Beach, Maine
Say Cheese, Wells Beach-Maine
Taking Flight Before Sandy-Wells Beach, Maine
Fall Colors-The Path-Wells Beach-Maine
The Path to Wells Beach-Maine
Ogunquit River-Footbridge Beach-Maine

Boothbay Harbor-Maine

Peeling Paint-Boothbay Harbor-Maine
Rocking Porch-Boothbay Harbor-Maine
Rose Hips and Beach Roses-Footbridge Beach-Maine
The Fence-Footbridge Beach-Maine
Reflections-Ogunquit Beach-Maine
Seagrass-Wells Beach-Maine
Christmas in July-Nubble Light-Cape Neddick-Maine
A Thorn Between Two Beach Roses
Paul and Bill-Cape Neddick-Maine


The Patient Gardener

When I finally agreed to live with Paul he packed up my ragtag group of furnishings on a snowy winter day and moved them by himself to surprise me while I was at work one day.  He was too excited to wait for me, or perhaps he understood that my involvement would only prolong the process. Walking through my empty basement apartment one final time, I paused at the bedroom door, took a deep breath and turned off the light. “It’s time to stop saying goodbye,” my friend Nancy advised me tearfully when I told her that I was moving again, and that was the thought in my head as I trudged through the snow towards a warm waiting car. I mentally counted; five homes in four years, each time hoping to find a place that would heal me.  “I want to plant a garden,” I told Paul as we drove to New Hampshire and for the rest of that winter I looked through the window at the banks of silent snow and envisioned a border garden in the backyard at the edge of the forest.

When spring came Paul surprised me again by having two tons of dark organic soil delivered. When I arrived home from work I found him sitting in a lawn chair at the foot of the dirt mound holding a glass of wine and smiling as if he were basking in the view of a majestic mountain range.  Cart by cart we moved the mountain to the edge of the forest framing the yard with a serpentine border of brown loam.  We loaded up the border with perennials, annuals, landscape lighting an irrigation system and a fountain.
One night in midsummer we sat on the back deck and surveyed our kingdom.  “I’m just amazed by the mass of beautiful mounds of white flowers,” Paul joked pointing out the one flaw in my master plan.  The sweet alyssum I planted would not grow. No matter how much love and attention I lavished on them, they remained stunted.  “This garden needs a gardener who cares,” he would say to me while planting a kiss on my head.

Eventually we sold the house in New Hampshire and bought our condo in Boston.  No longer any outdoor space for a garden, I planted Alyssum seedlings again in a box of dirt precipitously perched on the ledge of our kitchen windows.  They flourished all summer and filled our home with a subtle sweet scent. I let them go to seed over the winter and in the spring they surprised me by returning in an even larger mound of sweet white flowers.   
Like humans, plants need water, light and nutrients to survive, but it takes something special for them to thrive.  Who knows when a flower will bloom or a heart will heal, but this is how a garden grows; Learn to say hello instead of goodbye, find a gardener who cares, put them in the right spot and they’ll bloom in the most unlikely spaces.



Imperfection: Less than 100 words

He is not perfect.

These are four words that sink into my heart like a warm knife through butter.

For all of my bravado about being happy and the sweet perfection of my new found life, there are still days when I must admit that life is not perfect.

That he is not perfect.

Because perfection is someone who can read my mind completely and still it lies unread.

Unread by him.

But more so by me.


The Whole Tomato

There comes a time when you are alone in your own little kitchen at night, looking at a tomato and think it’s just me, should I slice this and waste half or just go without that can make you think of John Donne.  It is an unlikely comparison but I assure you it makes sense, because John Donne wrote “Every Man’s death diminishes me.”  If that is true, then every person standing alone at their kitchen counter late at night wondering if his or her worth is greater than a whole tomato diminishes my own self-worth. So, I want to tell you what you are worth:

You are worth being kissed.  Not just any kiss but the type that sends pulses of electricity through your body and feels like the answer to the hunger that has been trapped inside of you for a thousand years and sucks so much air from your lungs that you think you will never breathe again. 
You are worth being giddy.  Giddy every time you see him at the end of an absence, whether an hour, a day or a week.  Having your heart skip a beat uncontrollably as his face lights up when he sees you and flashes a big goofy grin.

You are worth being objectified:  objectified by someone who loves you so much that he can’t keep his hands and eyes off of you as you pass through the room. Worth being pinched and slapped on your rear-end because he loves you so much that he can’t see anything but physical perfection.
You are worth being loved unconditionally:  loved by your parents, your siblings, your friends and your other half.  Loved for the person you are and not the person you will become.  Not the potentially new and improved you, but the one on Tuesday morning before you have washed your hair and brushed your teeth.

You are worth a big wedding:  a wedding under a big white tent with a thousand twinkling lights on a perfect June day.  A wedding where friends and family laugh and cry and make embarrassing toasts and drink too much and dance and hug you and kiss you and tell you that they wish they had a love like yours.  

You are worth a marriage that is legal: by the federal government, in all fifty states, in all countries.
You are worth great sex:  Without guilt, without shame but with wild abandon and frequency; sometimes just for the pure animal instinct of it and sometimes for the intimate act of joining your souls, but always consensual.

You are worth a pet name:  pookie, sweetie, boo-boo, schmoopie, honey, handsome, hubby, dumpling, darling or monkey-butt.
You are worth being a parent: No matter how they come into your life, no matter if it is a child a dog a cat or a mouse.

You are worth spooning:  Late at night in your bed when the moon casts soft shadows and in the early morning half-light surrounded by the scent and warmth of his skin when he says “five more minutes” and you wish for five hundred more years.
When a gay teenager in Mississippi, a middle aged man in Chicago or a lonely housewife in Kansas wonders if they will ever be loved and decides that life is not worth living, then I am the lesser for it.  Because your worth is my worth and not so very long ago, I decided that I was worth the whole tomato.  And so are you.

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