August 3, 2010

Portable Peaks

After spending another glorious long weekend on Peaks Island, a question emerges and remains. How to emanate whenceward the way-of-living that comes so easily there? Can the good aesthetic, social, and ecological vibes of the island be transmitted?

balanced rocks in fog
Photo: DTVD
Aesthetic: This is art and craft. It is an aesthetic of place, not contrived and kitschy but homegrown and authentic. It is on display in the gardens and front porches; the look of wholeness and unity.

Social: Being on a small island promotes a spirit of community. We wave to every car and pedestrian, and they wave back. Generations who return and return are bound by their mutual appreciation of what they've shared.

Ecological: The proximity to nature and the inherent awareness of island ecosystem drives a strong sense of eco-logic. The tide rises, waves crash, fog rolls, rain falls. Creation is eminent, it demands awe and responsibility.
The clues are there. Locality. Community. Place. Apprectiation. It is easy to forget about these things amongst the daily drudgery of congested roadways, monolithic megamarts, a sea of "development" that drowns ideas of vigor and beauty from our lives. In the face of a daunting challenge, small tacks in the right direction are victories. I'm starting by waving to neighbors from the car.


  1. Gardening's progress down that path as well.

    Killer photo.


  3. i don't know, i think we just get an idyllic glimpse with our brief trips to the back shore. i know i spent time every summer checking out the local teenage girls pregnant or pushing strollers and hearing about the petty crime and drug abuse.

  4. Aha! Reality check. Lilly, you're so right. It's not a place free from the curse. Regardless, i very much believe that peaks island is home to something special, an elusive (even magical) idea that even the skeeviest wharf-rat couldn't tarnish.

    I suppose it's entirely possible that i've simply projected my idea about all that's good in the world onto my fantasy version of peaks island, but i made this post after having lived through a pretty fantastic weekend, and i want to spread that fantasy into other areas of life.

    Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

  5. I lived on Peaks for 4 months last year (September-December) very close to where the rock piles are that you pictured. They were four of the best months of my life, so I get what you're saying. No, Peaks is not perfect, but it was the warmest community I've ever lived in, and we made some pretty wonderful friends there. The time I spent on Peaks, living less than 40 feet from the surf, helped me make major changes in the way I live my life. I live just a ferry ride away now, but I'd love to move back there permanently at some point. It definitely is a special place.