Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Day

This morning I met my sister, Barb, for breakfast at The Governor's restaurant in Old Town, Maine. We had great conversation revolving around faith, family, and legacy. Not a single word about politics. Our family is hardly in lockstep regarding the latter, but we are not the least reluctant to discuss our divergent views. Today, though, we just wanted to be brother and sister and family.

After breakfast I drove as far as I could down Oak Point Road, parked, and walked through snow to the river's edge where our cabin has stood since 1998. Along the way, I viewed evergreen trees upon which snow clung like cotton-balls. White lines traced the limbs of naked oaks and maples. It's a cloudy day--an almost smoky atmosphere--and when I unlocked the cabin door and stepped across the threshold I was in a space that, like the Celtics of old, we call "A Thin Place." In the center of the rustic dwelling is the Jotul wood stove. Opening its rectangular door I wadded up newspaper, placed kindling upon it, and struck a match. Soon a fire was pulling oxygen through the vents and stoking a warm, bright glow heating the cold air surrounding me. At the cabin there is a quiet you can't find everywhere.

Our cabin has "Shorey" written all over it: my rough and tumble-ness; Sandy's quaint touches, and our kids and friends initials carved into the posts reaching up to the steep pitched roof. Unity in diversity is possible. Pulling my red-canvas chair up close to absorb the heat of the crackling wood fire, I clicked on my smart-phone and watched the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America. As the pageantry unfolded, I felt like I was in an alternate universe. My breath turned to steam, uninsulated walls surrounded me, a big sailfish hanging on the western gable-end of the cabin, and outside, winding north and south like a white ribbon, the frozen, lifeless Penobscot River.

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will gather with my siblings to celebrate Mom's 88th birthday. Later in the day I will get together with our good friend, Carol. Last, but not least, I'll have dinner with Glen, Elizabeth, and Gabby Gail. Love my family and friends!

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