At the risk of boring you with one more post about how much I love my neighborhood, I’d like to share with you a walk I took on Saturday to Bug Light Park.
It took considerable initiative, more than it should have, to tear myself away from my little routines and venture outside for an hour or two. I’m glad I did.
My house is about a quarter-mile from the entrance to a wonderful biking/walking trail called the Greenbelt, otherwise known as the Eastern Trail. By hopping on this paved and well-maintained pathway I can gain access to several noteworthy destinations. But, by far my favorite walk along the Greenbelt is the one that takes me to Bug Light Park.
The initial part of this route hugs the shoreline of the saltwater cove I live on. The image below shows the view of the cove from my front yard. It’s literally just across the street. Note: click on any image to zoom in.
The black arrow in the above photo indicates a spot on the cove directly across from my house. That’s where the next picture, below, was taken from.
The black arrow in the picture above indicates the location of my house as seen from across the cove. Let’s zoom in a little bit. In the photo below, the arrow again indicates my house. The picture window that you see is in my living room, where I spent almost all of my time in the company of my two best friends – the computer and the television. But I do manage to avert my eyes away from the screens maybe 100 times or so a day, just to gaze out over my little corner of this huge ocean.
I encountered some graffiti. You can see what a rough neighborhood I live in.
Less than half an hour later I arrived at my destination, Bug Light Park.
One of the first things you notice in the park is Fort Gorgeous, sitting strategically in the middle of Casco Bay.
Then there is the namesake lighthouse, which is very small compared to most lighthouses, but no less awesome.
On this day there were two rather large cruise ships docked in Portland Harbor. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling to live where so many cruise ships want to visit. And yet, the city is so much more than its tourism.
This was a beautiful day in September, my favorite weather month. Temperatures were in the high 60s. The sun was shining and there were a few puffy clouds. Only the lightest of breezes refreshed the park, enveloping us in the good ocean smell, not the bad one.
The Greenbelt, Bug Light Park, and all of Portland Harbor were busy that afternoon, but not in a hectic way. I think everyone appreciated that days like this, at this time of year, at this latitude, are fleeting.
As I was getting ready to leave, one of the harbor’s tugboats decided to put on a little show for everyone. The boat rotated about so that the waterspouts twirled in the air like a giant lawn sprinkler.
I had brief conversations with all sorts of people that day. For example, there was the elderly man who comes to the park often with his daughter and granddaughter. As we gazed at the cruise ships I asked him if he had ever been on one. “No, I don’t think that’s for me.” Having been on one of those cruise ships before, and having known this gentleman for upwards of 30 seconds, I was quite sure he was wrong about his assessment, but I didn’t correct him.
You can’t help but feel alive, engaged, and appreciative on days like this. These photos and my words fall short of portraying the grandeur of this scene. Perhaps my post will evoke memories for some of you about your special places. But even memories are not enough. There is no substitute for being physically present in these wide open spaces once in a while.
There is some evolutionary itch (or spiritual if you prefer) that can be scratched only in this way. It is nothing short of therapeutic, especially for people who are in pain (and who isn’t, to some extent). There are so many aspects of our lives that are beyond our control, but taking in the beauty of our surroundings is a deeply personal, healing experience that most of us can enjoy once in a while.
And you know what? All of my little routines (and my little dog) were still there waiting for me when I got home, none the worse for my absence. I need to do this more often.