The rooster was four minutes late this morning, and he sounded tired. As he was waking up I was going back to sleep. Up at 2:30 am, resisting the urge to make coffee, I wrote a little, read a while, and decided at 4 am that I should try to get more sleep. At 4:04 am, just as I was drifting off, the older of our two Silkie roosters crowed. Good morning, Roo. Shhh….

Chesuncook, sunrise, new phase in life
No filter needed.
new phase in life
Steam rising from warmer Chesuncook Lake into the 40° air.
Early Morning Fishing. Powered by Paddles.

It’s the second weekend of vacation, and my mind is spinning instead of slowing down. Only three days were restful, some of the best days I’ve had in a while. We were able to stay at our friends’ lodge on Chesuncook Lake in the North Maine Woods, the same place we stayed during my moose hunt. I woke before sunrise on the first morning, I waited for coffee to drip and listened to something in the woods beyond the guest cabin. It was still there, still making it’s strange snorty wheezy not-a-deer sound when I crossed the lawn to the lake. Ava tipped her head to listen, ears perked up, interested but unconcerned.

We had a hearty breakfast of homemade sausage, duck eggs, and toast for breakfast, packed a picnic lunch, and hit the gravel road. I’m learning my way around the side roads branching from The Golden Road in WMD zones 4 and 9. “Ragmuff is that way.” “I shot the first partridge on that road.” “This road leads to Lobster Lake.” We made our way through the woods to the ghost trains at the edge of Chamberlain Lake (photos later). This vacation? My mindset? A new phase of life. It’s coming.

The 3-Day Effect came to mind. Three days in nature changes us. We relax, rest, slow our minds, ease our anxiety. I already spend a lot of time outside but the heat and humidity drove me in, and I’d spend too many days inside. It felt good to hike. Instead of walking around fallen trees, I climbed under. Rather than grasping trees to help myself up a bank, I dug in, found balance and sturdy footing, and jaunted up and over unassisted. It’s the start of a new phase in life, where I rebuild strength.

I looked out to the lake after supper in time to see the almost full moon rising. Geese, crows and gulls squawked together, from the same place, down the lake for the second night in a row. I’m still wondering what riles them up.

moon rise, chesuncook, new phase in life
Moon rising over Chesuncook

We’ll tend bear baits this morning, and then I’m not sure what we’ll do on this last day of vacation. Yesterday was a work day in the bakery for Steve and the garden for me. Maybe I’ll make pickles and dilly beans. Or maybe we’ll go for another drive. When the sun rises tomorrow morning I’ll hit the ground running. It’s the start of a new phase in life.