I’m feeling my wings unfurl, ever so slightly, as the sunshine is becoming increasingly warm. The days are lasting longer (fun fact: Maine’s longest day is 15 hours and 15 minutes on June 20, 2021) and the ground is drying up just enough to let the crocus burst along the walk to the beach and we can now collect the mail without wearing rubber boots. Whilst everyone I know is still masking in public, most friends are vaccinated and we’re beginning to share meals without hurrying to put our masks back on if we linger at the table. The biggest treat was that for the first time in 13 months my sister came up for a visit when she dropped nephew Nick off to work during his Spring break from school. It was a quick turnaround but long enough to walk the beach, share blood orange margaritas and compare knitting projects that we’ve Face-timed about all winter long.
Steven has been working the grounds and prepping the gardens. We moved the entire raised raspberry bed to make more room for Covid spaced seating near the garden kitchen. Kelin and David have been loading the Spring beds with seaweed, wood ash and composted bedding from the sheep and goats in preparation for the seedlings that are sprouting in the green house like there was no tomorrow. When bending over the garden beds starts to hurt, there’s always pulling cat-o’nine tails in the frog ponds, cleaning up the trees and branches that have dropped during the winter storms. When he doesn’t have his gardening gloves on, Steve’s been wearing an electrician’s belt, working with the crew, laying the groundwork for electrical upgrades (all the while,
growling grousing about the squirrels and critters that nibble the rubber casings) and re-engineering some of the drainage ditches in the ocean tenting area. He’s also been monitoring the brown tail moth webbing in the trees. What little we’ve found has been cut and burned. We’re hoping that we’ve beat the odds and won’t be disturbed by these caterpillars in June. Wikipedia says: “The brown-tail moth is a moth of the family Erebidae. It is native to Europe, neighboring countries in Asia, and the north coast of Africa. Descriptions of outbreaks, i.e., large population increases of several years duration, have been reported as far back as the 1500s.” Lucky for us they only affect Cape Cod and the Maine coast…how can that be?
I get outside every chance I get now that it’s warming up but much of my time has been spent on our non-profit endeavor, the Makers Guild of Maine, 501 c3. Officially we’re the Makers Guild but colloquially we’re known by our favorite event of the year: Fiber College. Last year the pandemic almost put a screeching halt to our September gathering but with the help of many friends we were able to organize an intimate retreat, focused on small classes of woodworking, print making, quilting, embroidery and natural dyeing. By shifting gears from “festival” to “retreat” we found that we actually enjoyed the gathering more because we slowed the pace down, had a chef come and prepare all of our meals and put a priority on lingering and dawdling instead of rushing from one class to another with the fear of missing something in between. SEE? We did learn something from the pandemic: linger and relax are verbs we should keep in the fore of our vocabulary!
This year, instead of one retreat, we’re offering 9 retreats. We’re focusing on the touchstones in our lives…the wisdom passed from one generation to another that we can rely upon to center our ambitions and guide our decisions. Searsport Shores will host the these retreats from June to September. We’ll be celebrating everything from baking bread with heritage grains from the Caucasus to carving wooden kayak paddles in an Acadian style, and making paper with botanicals from the field across the street to enameling jewelry in European traditions. If you’d like more details, check out the website here.
And with GLEE and optimism we’ll be opening on May 14th with our 29th annual clean up weekend…(even if the 28th one didn’t occur, we still get to count it, right?). Come on Thursday or Friday stay through Sunday or Monday and help us with the spring clean up chores we haven’t gotten to yet. What kind of chores? The easy answer is that in our world there’s always something for everyone to do: window washing, twig clean up, raking, gardening, building, building more stuff, repairing stuff that was built last time. Blowing up balls for the playground, clearing trails and cleaning out the cobwebs from the corners we haven’t looked at all weekend. We’ll remain masked, share meals outdoors and enjoy being together. If you’d like to come and haven’t let us know already, please send an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can give you an updated schedule in May.
Be well, linger in the sunshine and visit when you can!