Echoes in winter

Winter has settled in along the Maine Coast with temperatures often falling well below zero. As I stand on the mainland dock nestled up against the boathouse in an effort to block the icy wind from lapping my face, I can almost hear the voices that carry over the water during the busy summer season. Today, however, it is quiet and the island seems warm and peaceful snuggled beneath a blanket of snow. A majestic winter wonderland.

During the winter, the activity in the bay slows to a crawl; lobster pots are few and far between and the lobster pound is quiet behind the Cora Cresse, the Puffin IV is nowhere in sight and the terns have all gone south for the winter. Although this place is familiar, the landscape has changed. Living here in Maine, I am witness to the cyclical transformation that the coast makes each year with the passing of the seasons.

The bell rings in my memory signaling the beginning of a new activity as campers emerge from every corner to meet in the courtyard.

Gazing out at the island I imagine for a moment that Janii and the SA crew can be seen bustling about behind the kitchen, busy making the next meal of the day. The bell rings in my memory signaling the beginning of a new activity as campers emerge from every corner to meet in the courtyard. I remember brave campers jumping from the Queen Mary dock into the frigid waters on a hot, sunny August afternoon…

Almost suddenly I become fully aware that I am standing here looking at Hog Island all alone, without another soul in sight. Much like an island solo the still beauty of the coast has captured me yet in the back of my mind I know that there are six months to go until Youth Campers will arrive with eager anticipation of the nine days they will spend on Hog Island; a whole half of a year until the Fish House rings with joyous voices singing “Eider and Osprey take to the wind, rolling blue ocean good to see you again” and we will know in the deepest sense; that yes, it is good to be back at our island camp.

Laura Councell is Assistant Director and Youth Camp Director at Hog Island.

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