Friday, February 1, 2013

Once You Have Slept on an Island

I was going over my collection of old trade beads, getting ready to launch my new venture-- remember I'm jumping off and this time not going to reach out and grab hold of whatever appears to rescue me from utter failure--like I said I am launching a new blog,, and when I came across this poem.  Thought I'd share it here.

Little Cranberry Isle from Cadillac Mt.
I have a deep affection for Little Cranberry Island off the coast of Maine.  My children's paternal ancestry is filled with sea captains and Abenaki Indians and links back to that area.   When they were young children, we would take the mail boat from Northeast Harbor as it made it's run to the Cranberry Isles.  We get off and spend the day exploring the island and the little town of Islesford then in the afternoon we would take the boat back.  We would always stop at the Museum and look up family history.  One day the caretaker at Islesford Historical Museum gave me this poem.  I have carried it over the years as it brings such wonderful stories to mind.

Their paternal grandmother grew up on the island.  The family lived there and their great grandfather ran the lighthouse.   One such delightful story of life on the island is how their great grandmother would tie the youngest child when they went outside to play in order to keep them from falling off the cliff and into the sea.

 Once You Have slept on an Island.
If once you have slept on an island
You'll never be quite the same;
You may look as you looked the day
And go by the same old name,

You may hustle about in street and shop;
You may sit at home and sew,
but you'll see the blue water and the wheeling
Cadillac Mt looking North
Where ever your feet may go

You may chat with the neighbors of this and that
and close to your fire keep,
but you'll hear ship whistles 
and lighthouse bell
And tides best through your sleep

Oh, you don't know why, you can't say how
Such change upon you came,
But--once you have slept on an island
You'll never be quite the same!
                                        ~~Rachel Field, poet 1894-1942

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