Contributor post by Crystal Sands
“In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows. Nature says, — he is my creature, and [despite] all his impertinent griefs, he shall be glad with me.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I was a little girl, I lived right smack-dab in the middle of Texas. There’s not a lot of water there. My aunt and uncle lived on the Atlantic coast in southern Florida, and I so vividly remember my visit to their home when I was nine years old. The first time I saw the ocean, I cried. I felt the excitement in my chest and all over my little body. When I first stood on that sandy beach and gazed into the blue horizon, I was overwhelmed by the beauty and magnificence of the ocean.
Fast forward to my adult life, and I have found a way to live close to that ocean that moved me so much when I was nine years old. The coast at Acadia is where we visit the ocean every summer. The first time my youngest son ever saw the ocean was at Acadia. We celebrated his 5th birthday at Sand Beach, and when family members come to visit us here in Maine, we always head to Acadia.
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When I learned that this year marks the 100th anniversary of our beautiful Acadia National Park, and it seems important to spend a little time reflecting on its beauty.
Every summer, we make our trips to the Maine coast, but Schoodic Point in Acadia National Park is our favorite, so much so that it has become our summer ritual to visit, enjoy the breath-taking views, and spend time together as a family. These visits also re-energize my soul.
The first thing we do is head to Winter Harbor, and every time, we stop for lunch at Chase’s Restaurant for some delicious fish n’ chips. In fact, Chase’s has the best fish n’ chips I’ve ever tasted, but, most importantly, our youngest son, our picky eater, just loves the fish n’ chips as well.
Chase’s is a small, family restaurant located on Main Street in Winter Harbor, and it’s right on the way to Schoodic Point. After we enjoy the fresh fish, fries, and slaw, we head to Schoodic Point for the breathtaking views.
Just hearing the waves crash on the rocks is relaxing to me, but when I see how much my youngest son enjoys exploring the rocks and water, I’m in heaven. Even our oldest, our grumpy teenager, seems to enjoy Schoodic Point. Fortunately, it turns out there are Pokemon and a cell phone signal there—and, as I’m sure you know, a cell phone signal is not always guaranteed in middle-of-the-trees Maine. This is certainly important information for anyone with teenagers. Our son captured a water Pokemon at Schoodic Point, so there you go. That’s reason right there to check it out.
Of course, for me, it’s about the Nature, not the Pokemon. Our family enjoys these summer trips so much, and, each year, when the weather starts to warm up, I start missing the ocean and Acadia. I’m from “away,” but I’m thankful that my adopted state has such easy and beautiful access to the ocean, a place where it feels good to feel insignificant.
When I look at that water, the water that’s been there for millions and billions of years, I remember that the tiny worries of my life just do not matter.
They do not matter.
It feels good to remember that.
I’m a nature girl (well woman), but I wasn’t always. When I first read Emerson in college as an undergraduate, I had no idea, really, what he was talking about. But, now, Nature feels like scripture to me. I need to feel the earth, connect with the water and animals. Sometimes, it’s in my own backyard. Sometimes, it’s on the coast at Acadia.
[Tweet “How are you celebrating Acadia’s 100th birthday?”]
My youngest son once told me once that he thought Nature was so beautiful because God wanted us to notice it. I think there’s so much wisdom in this, and I know that places like Acadia remind me to stop and notice that God is all around us—in Nature.
Where do you go to connect with Nature? What’s your favorite place in Acadia? I’d love to hear about it.
Crystal Sands is a former academic turned hobby farmer who raises chickens with her husband and sons on their backyard homestead here in Maine. She is the author of Pajamas, Books, and Chickens, a BDN blog about learning to live a homestead lifestyle while also living more purposefully and peacefully. Follow @CrystalDSands