Did you know that in the dark hour before the dawn, the chugging of Maine’s lobster boats going out to sea sounds exactly like Kansas’ farm trucks heading out into the fields? The diesel engines in both are driven by faithful hardworking stewards who brave the harsh elements and harvest the bounty of land and sea. I wonder how many other people hear a lobster boat heading out to sea and envision a big ol’ grain truck going down a dusty prairie road out in the middle of the arid High Plains?
Nearly every early morning when the winds are calm, I wake up hearing the lobster boat engines starting out from moorings near the harbor as the lobstermen steer their way out toward deeper waters. By the sound of it, there are more going out in the summer than in the winter. Glassy calm seas in the bays and harbors carry sound for long distances, so on windless early mornings I often lie awake and listen as a lobster boat moves from one end of my horizon to the other. Sometimes the engine fades in and out for as long as ten minutes as the boat goes by to my west, from northeast to southwest through Linekin Bay out into the open water. The sounds of the engines always capture my imagination. I use this listening time for meditation and I visualize an aura of Light for the protection of every soul going out on the sea. I pray too for our oceans and all creatures great and small which dwell therein.
I first had this epiphany that Kansas and Maine aren’t all that far apart in 2011, as I approached the shores of Webb Cove near Stonington. I had been traveling around the country with the kids for most of 2011 in a 1997 white VW Eurovan with a pop-top camper. That’s a long story for later, but suffice it to say that we were weary travelers, longing for home. After an arduous journey, which hasn’t quite ended, this windblown girl from Kansas stood on Maine’s rocky shore and drew in the deepest of deep breaths. Some might have overheard it as a sigh too deep for words. Six months prior, 14,000 miles earlier in the trip, I had put a see-through static cling sticker on my windshield which read “Just Breathe.” I still carry it with me. It is my magi-mantra for The Trip and that’s what I did when I couldn’t go any farther east. I breathed in the headiest scent of fir trees and ionized salt air, the freshest air I have ever drawn into my body. Instantly, just by breathing that life-giving air, I had entered into a sea of calm. I knew right there and then that we were home, not in Kansas but in Oz… as in ozone.
It was as though my whole life had been quietly consumed by a mysty 50-year eastward quest from the prairie to the seashore. Just breathing it all in triggered a scent memory that has been carried inside of my DNA through all the ages. I knew we were home. All that needed to be worked out were those minor details of how and when and where. I’ll let you know when I’ve figured that out.
And so it goes, that’s my epiphany story for this Eve of Epiphany.
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