Monday, July 1, 2013

A Sense of Place - Monhegan

It is nice to know that there are still places like Monhegan, where time moves slowly with the rhythm of the tides and the ferry schedule.  The gross commercialism of the coastal towns on the mainland has found no place along the dirt roads of this island.  Only 30 families winter here now and last year there was only one student in the school house but life goes on.  Monhegan celebrates the 400th anniversary of the visit by Captain John Smith next year but there has been a fishing settlement here since the early 16th century.  Miles Standish from Plymouth Plantation came to Monhegan to replenish their depleted stores in 1622.  Indeed, life has been going on here for a long, long time!

   The little library, one of my favorite places on the island, was named for two children, summer residents Jackie Barstow age 11 and Edward Vaughan age 15, who were swept out to sea by a rogue wave in August of 1926 and drowned.  It has a wonderful interior that invites quiet time and deep fact, the whole island does.  You simply slow down and worry less here.
Home for a Fairy

   One of the most charming features of Monhegan is the tradition of building fairy houses in the Cathedral woods.  It is an enchanting place and one has no problem believing in the wee folk as you walk the woodland paths.  Tucked in the crook of tree roots, these tiny dwellings are a gentle reminder that imagination and magic are alive and well here on Monhegan.  You can get a lovely book about the fairy house tradition in Maine written by the Director of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Maureen Hefferman.   I visited the garden before my trip to Monhegan and they hold annual fairy house days.  Check it out here.

    So, pour a cup of tea and take a walk around the island.  Just click on the link below to open a slide show of my images.   I hope they leave you with a strong sense of this wonderful place but you will have to experience it yourself and I hope you get to visit someday.  Artists, photographers and painters, have been coming to Monhegan since the 1850's.  It's earned the island the nickname, The Artist's Island and it's not difficult to understand why.


kimmanleyort said...

What a gorgeous place, Patricia, and I see that you were there when the lupines were blooming. What was your icon of the experience?

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Kim! Yes, Monhegan is a very special place and I was so glad to re-visit it after so many years...this time as a contemplative photographer. My "icon" will be mentioned in an up-coming post, "Monhegan in Monochrome" took some thinking before I decided one! Check back tomorrow!

The Mad-Eyed Monk said...

I want to go there! What beauty! Thanks for sharing and for the wonderful photos...Cynthia