Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.

–Leonardo di Vinci

Occasionally adventure knocks more than once, sometimes over and over before you finally have the guts to open up. I learned this when sweet friends, a young married couple, offered their cabin in southern Maine several times before I finally decided to take the time off, buy the ticket and just go.

I spent a summer living with this couple, who migrated to Florida along with a brother and a few close friends. I used to come home from work with salt under my fingernails and sandy ankles, sit on their porch and listen to the brothers talk about Maine summers. They laughed at each other like they were eleven years old again. So stepping into their beloved summer home was like stepping into the unhindered wildness of childhood.

We had running water, but no shower. Power, but no heat. Our trip settled in late October, temperatures reaching below freezing on some nights. Seated in a deep hill among about a million golden trees, between the road and the lake, the cabin is barely two stories with painted wooden floors and mismatched dishes. There are fireworks in the kitchen drawers and kayaks by the dock.

We traded warm showers for sun-soaked canoe trips and central heating for homemade honey pies. Although we managed one massive Wal-Mart run for hearty breakfast ingredients, electric blankets, and extra gloves, we were craving the privacy and freshness of simple cabin life. We stayed close to our temporary home playing heated card games and chatting about dreams and home-based loved ones. No major decisions were made; no deep life-changing moments barreled through the break in city chaos. Instead, we simply waded into new friendships, hiked old traditions like the Appalachian Trail, and fell into an easy rhythm of staying warm, fed and breathing the same wild air as bears, elk, and a quiet culture.

It seems that when I get busy and burdened by everyday conflict, regrets tend to surface of adventures not taken and dreams not realized. But sometimes adventure and newness really do wait for you. It could be a few days like our camp in Maine, a new person who’s safe to tell your stories to, or maybe it’s just intentional breathing of the same wild air.

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Story by Joanie Turner