As I prepare to drive north, to Maine, to open my little cabin at Old Orchard Beach, words from William Butler Yeats’ The Lake Isle of Innisfree feel appropriate:
I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
I don’t have nine bean-rows, but I have a favorite pick-your-own strawberries farm; I’ll fill a large flat, both for my own eating enjoyment and to bring some to neighbors who keep an eye on ‘the small cabin there,’ when it sits empty all winter.
I shall ‘have some peace there’ for peace comes washing onto the sandy seven-mile beach, a ten-minute walk from the cabin. ‘I hear (ocean) water lapping with low sounds by the shore.’ I’ll miss my dear friend, Dick Drinon, who was the last to use the cabin—summer is the season we shared, much of it at the cabin for the past 42 years. And, once again, I’ll read the thank-you note he penned when he left the cabin for his final visit. It’s on the table where he left it last September.
I’ll return and go to Chautauqua to continue a ten-year tradition of preaching there, and meeting with folks from the Unitarian Fellowship. Then I’ll come back to Westport to prepare for surgery. I’ve made arrangements for a hip replacement, after a couple of years of pain that increasingly robbed my morning walk of much of its enjoyment and spiritual benefits. Pain trumps spirituality.
I didn’t know about the hip surgery when I wrote to you last – it’s a very recent plan. I decided to do it now for a couple of reasons, one of which is to be ready in September for a new beginning. Indeed I’m looking forward to this new chapter in our work together, and I’m going to be asking for your help. Together we need to put create an effective Care Committee, and we need to expand our membership work to help the folks who sign the book to become integrated into the life of our community, and to follow each one through the process.
Our Administrator, John Carroll, will be here during the summer. He will know how to reach me or the other ministers who will be ‘on call’ for emergencies. I will be in close touch with John.
“I will arise now and go to Innisfree…and I shall have some peace there.”