I was still looking to the port (left!) of the boat where the colorful lobster trap buoys bobbed up and down on the choppy water, with a white-sailed boat speeding full tilt toward a misty fog scarfing a mountain. What a scenic ride.
My attention was arrested by the boat hand ‘s response to a 20-something-year-old man who asked the question “What is there to do here?”
“Nothing,” the man said. “Ayuh, Nothin’ to do he-ah,” he said again with a sheepish grin, bobbing his head right, then left. “Well (pronounced WALL) there’s beach combing. But ya can’t do that now, its HIGH TIDE.”
I started laughing. We were just arriving for a two night stay in a cabin on the island and there was nothing to do here! No wonder we have not run into a single New Yorker since we left home! At least on the mainland in Maine there are quaint little shops to explore and restaurants galore.
But you know, I no longer have little kids I have to entertain. And I hate shopping! I am so tired of the fast pace at home; the To-Do list never ending – always increasing, the projects festering on top of my desk – waiting for my attention, always behind the 8-ball trying to get stuff done. Scrambling. And then I go to work at my day job!
The 20-somethings walked off the boat, looked briefly at the harbor, the one old building and the D.O.T. office and then turned around and sailed back to the mainland.
But Me? I knew I would enjoy two whole days of nothing to do. Swain’s Island was so funny to me. We went to the library/museum and asked the docent about the noteworthy sights on the island. She gave us a hand-drawn map, almost unreadable, the roads not matching the ones actually on the island. My husband said, “But most of the streets don’t have signs, it is hard to find the sights.” The librarian’s reply? “WALL, WE know where everything is!”
And there WAS nothing to do. Except wave at everyone who walked or drove by. It is a very foreign concept to a native New Yorker who is used to no one waving at anyone, even if they know them, because it is just not done. On an island with the population of about 350 people, everyone is on a first name basis, and the protocol is to wave, even if you are in a car, passing another car. It is the driver and front seat passenger’s responsibility to wave at every car and every walker. It was exhausting. And I kept forgetting!
But there was nothing else to do. Nothing but bike riding, hiking, looking at the breath-taking scenery and laughing with my family.
© janefcollen August 7, 2015