Sunday, August 12, 2012

Maine Day 2: Walking on the Margins

Day two in Maine found us waking up to my Mom's fantastic breakfasts... a dutch baby (actually a puffed pastry pie... not a little child from the Netherlands!) with apples and blueberries. She is a great host and I wish I had inherited some of her love of cooking (and good food... and gardening... and her energy... and a few other things!). Then began the first of many changed plans on this trip. Three options for the day that we eventually widdled down to two... trying to be more realistic about time. Eventually widdled down to one, because we were still being unrealistic. But, it was not the one we originally intended to see. We actually began our day at the beautiful Laudholm Farms in Wells, ME. An old barn and farmhouse. Rolling meadows. A hike through the meadows and woods to a long sandy beach.
But... after standing at the overlook, gazing out at this view for about 5 minutes, I looked over at Cathy and saw a mosquito. Well, not one mosquito, but several. Not just on Cathy, but on me as well. We swatted a few away, tried to keep going, but it was useless. We finally turned around and went to plan b. A wise choice considering I still woke up from all the itching two night later!) Plan B was a walk along the Marginal Way. One of my favorite places in Southern Maine. A paved path along the edge of the cliffs in Ogunquit. There are benches along the way to sit and contemplate the view. Rocky beaches to climb down to. Just amazing.
The way ends at a pier filled with little shops, cafes, and a pier where tour boats, sailboats, and lobster boats dock.
Cathy and I have struggled throughout the trip with plans that did not work out... a thundering hole that barely whispered, days full of mist and rain, a drive in which we bypassed great little towns in order to reach towns further up the road... only to arrive too late to actually stop. Missed opportunities. Unmet expectations. Too much to do and too little time... sounds more like day to day life for each of us than a vacation. It left us grumpy and complaining, stressed rather than relaxing. I am not sure how we missed God speaking to us early in the trip... telling us to relax, enjoy Plan B. At least that is how I see it now looking back. On our first Plan B, walking the marginal way, we came upon three small stone towers built upon the beach. In the Old Testament, people often erected towers of rocks as a sign of praise to God, marking a spot where God had been particularly present. We were a bit enamored by these three towers. Then my mom, who was up ahead a bit, said, "Just wait until to you round the corner..." An amazing scene. An entire rocky beach covered with towers.
I realize this may have not been the original intention of the builders, but we experienced them as a gift from God. And I see them now as a sign. God is present in Plan B. Why can't I just see that? In fact, sometimes Plan B is exactly where God wants us... walking not along Main Street, but along the marginal way. May I learn not to look at the missed opportunities and unmet expectations in life and instead look for the signs of God's presence, the rock monuments along the marginal ways.

4 comments:

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