The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on February 21, 2012



There was a time in my life when I was not a happy camper. I probably should have been seeing a psychiatrist but  I didn’t   I found another way –  a much cheaper way – to find some peace in what was an uncomfortable situation.  One day I simply picked up pen and paper and let my imagination run wild.  I wrote a fantasy, imagining myself living in other circumstances. That initial composition led to about fifteen such pieces. The Loon is one of them.




I live alone in a small cottage  inWincasset,Maine. The sound of Wincasset leaves sweetness on the tip of my tongue. It is at the end of an inlet surrounding Westport Island, well inland, but close enough to know when a storm is brewing at sea. Outside my windows is a rugged coast, inhabited by al manner of wildlife – especially loons:  I have never heard the plaintiff cry of a loon. There is a flat rock outside my front door with a fine view of the water where I sun nude in the summer. My old rusty Schwinn gets me to town for supplies.

Here I am in tune with nature: I am calm and comfortable. It feels as if a soft, warm breeze is blowing through my body and cleansing it. I revel in the peace and quiet: I am entranced by my surroundings.

During  spring, summer and fall I take long walks in the woods where I frequently come upon deer, moose, and a wide variety of colorful birds. A family of raccoons lives along the creek. I have seen them poking around in my trash container and making off with watermelon rinds and anything shiny. There must be otters as well though I have never seen them. The dam they have built slows the trickle of the stream. In the woods I feel the pine trees trembling in the breeze and I hear a symphony being composed by wood mice rattling he leaves, woodpeckers searching for breakfast and sometimes the mournful call of the loons drifting in from the pond.

It is a peaceful place and my life is simple. My neighbors are simple. I spend my days doing homey things: baking bread, chopping wood, tending my flower and vegetable gardens. Sometimes I invite a few neighbors for dinner and they share with me their experiences and tips for enjoying the environment. The aromas that drift forth from my kitchen are enticing and there are vases of fresh fragrant flowers scattered throughout the cottage. The house came with a loom and I am learning how to thread it.

I am not entirely alone. In the winter I volunteer at the library and tutor the children of the village. Their parents are appreciative and I am frequently invited to share their lives. I join them for sailing and fishing expeditions but stay clear of involvement in politics and the PTA. My life revolves only around those things that bespeak the natural tranquility of the environment.

Nightly I build crackling fires and sometimes people come for dinner. We sit and talk in front of the fire until the logs have turned to warm embers. One friend comes every Wednesday night for our self-taught poetry lesson. Together we explore Yeats and Auden, Frost and Masefield, Pound and Eliot and Donne.

On a lucky day I awake to a deer on the shore of the inlet. When a storm rages I sit back – smug and satisfied – in front of my fire, watching the tops of the pine trees battle the wind. It is like gazing at an over sized painting, full of swirling dark clouds.

In Wincasset there is no static in my life.


Julie Rose


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