Our story over the past 7 years has been rocky, somewhat like the craggy coastline that is synonymous with Maine. Seven years is around the time that we fostered than adopted a five year old girl, who is now our daughter. I had a thriving Interior Design business, and had just signed on one of the biggest clients of my career. My business was growing beyond anything I could have imagined.
Then I became an instant mom, to a girl who came to us in puzzle pieces. And over the past seven years, I gave up my business because she needed me more. It hasn’t been easy as anyone who has been in our shoes will tell you. There are many children in foster care, who need love, stability and a chance. I knew our daughter needed all of those, and so much more. So the journey began, to take all the pieces and find a way to make them fit again.
And the pieces are beginning to fall into place…
We bought Sweet Pond Cottage to change her childhood, replacing all the bad memories with those that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Like a big warm hug. Sweet Pond Cottage also became a place of healing for all of us. I lost both my parents within the first two years there and the Cottage became my escape just as much I knew it was hers.
This month I decided to retrace some of my childhood memories back to the wild beauty that defines the state of Maine hoping that the happy memories of my time spent there, would become hers. And I came back forever changed. Somehow over the past seven years I lost myself in the wilderness of my new normal. It happens so quickly that you look back and wonder where time has gone.
And then Maine reminded me of all that was important in life…
We oftentimes forget to simply breathe and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. And there is a lot of beauty in this world. Our memories can be the best camera roll. Recently, I sat on a rock overlooking the wild shoreline off Acadia National Park, just enjoying living in the moment, the only sounds were passing seabirds and the waves crashing against the rocks. My thoughts focused on what was right in front of me. Not about the daily stress of making sure my daughter was having a good day amongst doctors appointments coupled with the daily challenge of having a child “differently-abled.” Letting my mind be still was freeing, and a precious commodity in a world of chaos.
I went off the grid. Thankfully, nature helped us. Cell service was non-existent in the more remote areas of Maine. So other than a few pictures we left emails, social media and text messaging behind. And we were better off for it. I was reminded that life can not be lived through the “grids” of Instagram, but in the real world. A world that doesn’t need to be documented on Social Media to prove that you have lived it. I like living off the grid and plan to do a lot more of it.
Take time to dip your feet in the water, no matter how cold it is. The waters off the coast of Maine are bone chilling cold (and that is an understatement). And as much as I was reluctant to enter the cold water, I did it anyway. Sometimes we miss an experience not out of fear but inconvenience, not wanting to take the time. Wading in the cold waters, feeling the smooth rocks under my feet, and the joy of simply doing something outside my comfort zone was worth half an hour of numb feet.
Go off the beaten path. One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Frost.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I…I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
And the “road less traveled by” makes all the difference. I was letting my life slip by, traveling on roads that were familiar rather than the roads that would enrich my life experiences. When we were in Acadia National Park, I talked my husband and daughter into going off a well worn path onto one that was more than likely one carved out by a few lost hikers. I wanted to see where it lead (my husband was leaving a note in the car, in case we didn’t return). And it lead to one of the most stunning views, overlooking the mountains and a lake. It was late in the day and the sun was just a few hours away from setting. Through the clouds a ray of light appeared down onto the water. A heavenly moment we wouldn’t have experienced if we didn’t take the “road less traveled by.” And the note was never needed, we returned safely albeit with a few more incredible memories defining our time in Maine.
And I learned that somewhere along the way I lost myself, I didn’t really need to give up my life, I just needed to change it. Fulfilling my hopes and dreams will only help me be a better mother. And I look forward to sharing more of life at Sweet Pond Cottage, blogging more and doing what I love, which is writing & photography.
And life at the Cottage goes on, just a little more sweeter. Yesterday, we took the boat out and left the main channel exploring quiet coves and small islands. We found a sandy beach that we will return to, with promises of a picnic lunch (and chilled champagne for my husband and I). The day will be spent looking out over the blue-green waters “being still”, in the distance the Appalachian Mountains outlining a perfect summer sky. That’s the thing about staying on “roads less traveled”…you never know what adventure awaits.
I hope you”ll follow along on our Sweet Pond Cottage adventure, and you”ll be inspired to surround yourself with beauty from the outside in. You can read more about Sweet Pond Cottage here
Thanks for stopping by!