by Megan Wood
I had no expectations of Acadia National Park, an island on the coast of Maine. My mind was too crowded with in-the-moment thoughts involving my personal life as a newly single mother who with a job outside the home. There’s no room for expectations of places like Acadia.
Everybody loves to share their experiences at Acadia, once they know you are going. Through these stories, I knew it was a magical place.
I’ll give you my favorite things about the trip in the order they occurred to me on the trip, not in order of importance.
1. Our Camper
The best word to describe it is “cozy”. There were 3 beds, a small oven and refrigerator and a small linen closet. But, my favorite thing about the camper was the pink, yellow, and blue lights that hung outside the camper.
2. Our Campsite
My favorite thing about the campsite was that it was right across from the bathrooms – for convience reasons only.
It had the perfect amount of sun and shade, and our firepit was perfectly placed. The beach was a 5-minute bike ride away, and within the first 20 minutes of arriving, we saw a mama and baby deer on the path to the beach. Magical indeed.
3. Our neighbors.
A family of three — Mom, Dad and teenage son from Massachusetts — brought hand-picked flowers from Mom’s flower garden as a centerpiece.
After I commented on how much I liked them, she didn’t hesitate to bring me some. They sang a prayer before dinner, and the harmony sounded straight from heaven.
4. Sand Beach
Acadia Park is a perfect combination of sand beaches and rocks for climbing. ten-year-old Olivia and Brian, our long-time family friend, went exploring, and convinced Adam and me to join them for a picnic at the perfect hidden spot they discovered, overlooking the ocean.
5. Watching Adam climb on the rocks.
As the week progressed I saw six-year-old Adam replace his fear with confidence.
6. Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain my favorite place. The feeling I got just being there — such peace and being free! If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn I was a kid on that mountain, and I haven’t had that feeling since I was a kid.
At one point, I was lying on a rock with Adam. The fog rolling over the ocean looked like clouds in the sky. I told Adam we were above the sky in heaven.
7. Tidepools and low tide.
I loved getting lost searching for treasures in tide pools, and climbing the rocks at low tide, the clear water in the little tide pools, the smell and feel of the air at low tide, and the peace you feel in yourself and sense in others.
Brian knows exactly how to make a fire. It brought a way of relaxing that only a campfire can bring. It’s another level of relaxing.
There is something magical about Acadia. I can’t help but think that its history plays a part. In 1916 (before it was a National Park) parts of the park were privately owned. The privately owned property was donated so that the area could become a National Park. I like to think that the altruistic act of sacrificing something meaningful and beautiful for the benefit of those to come always results in magic.
How My Acadia Trip Helped My Single Motherhood-ing.
It has been my brief experience as a single mom that doing anything that I feel passionate about benefits my mothering ability.
There was an occurance of unnecessary drama about a week before our trip involving my ex husband. His anger and attempt at controlling the situation surfaced, and the trip was very close to being cancelled
I am not ashamed to say that I am very inexperienced and unsure of the best way of dealing with such a hairy confrontation. My instinct is to deny and take the easy road. However, this trip was entirely too important to me, and the outcome later proved to reveal an inner strength that is begging to be let out.
I refused to be bullied yet again by me ex, and made the decision to call my lawyer regarding my rights, and stabilize in my head what I knew in my heart. According to my lawyer, I legallly had every right to take my kids out of state to this amazing place called Acadia.’ However, even with this knowledge, I reluctantly held on to my reservations. I didn’t want to muddy the waters. That is not my style or instinct. It’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory. I still had hope that we would get to go regardless of my ex’s selfish ideas.
My friend Brian, who was taking us on this trip, is not as passive as I am. He was equally determined to make this trip happen, and he was much less frightened of confronting my ex. With my permission, Brian approached my ex and explained his intentions in his peaceful, understanding way. This was well received, and my ex eventually agreed to allow us to go with his blessing.
Every life is always full of lessons. I never paid attention before. The determination and fighting for this trip, and the trip itself, were both significant. The determination taught me that some things are worth fighting for, and that there are ways of fighting peacefully and with understanding.
For me, surrendering to what is, and what I am able to control, is vital in this type of conflict — setting limits in my head of what I am willing to settle for and what I am willing to fight for. And the trip itself taught me that I am still capable of being as happy and peaceful as I was as a little girl. And I’m grateful beyond words for all of it.