Cadillac Mountain

A warm August morning

greeted us

as we set off for a 4.5 mile hike

up Mount Desert Island’s Cadillac Mountain.

Forged millennia ago

by massive volcanic activity,

the granite mount

offers forest and ledges

before opening

to a smooth top with views

of Somes Sound and the ocean beyond.

At fourteen,

I could not wait for our sunrise start.

Mother was too slow for my liking…

packing iced tea and offering to make sandwiches.

Sister hated early starts.

Little brother and father prepared cameras

and spyglasses as we set off.

After 1.5 hours,

the pines and ledges gave way

to an expanse as wide as

the universe.

How did I not know

this sort of openness

existed alongside my every day life?

My young mind stretched

with each breath of crisp mountain air.

I was thankful for my mother’s sandwiches,

the chance to bath in summer light,

and a family

I did not know would eventually fracture.

Scientists say

our minds discard memories too similar,

to avoid a competition for attention.

Cadillac Mountain does not fade for me.

Though my mother is no longer here,

and I have a family of my own,

the bright coastal afternoon

is available anytime.

7 thoughts on “Cadillac Mountain

  1. Your post is beautiful. Sad and beautiful. You have captured the wonder and awe of those early memories with family. Memories made more precious through the lens of knowledge. I hiked Cadillac Mountain with my husband and sons when they were younger, when we were all younger. I’m looking back at it now with new knowledge, and I’m cherishing the memory.


  2. What a great memory! You wrote with such beauty and detail that I could picture myself there. “…a family I did not know would eventually fracture” really gives a glimpse into the innocence of being a younger person. I really loved reading this.


  3. We recently read a book titled Inside Out and Back Again with our students. It was written in prose and beautifully constructed, much like this one! I hope you are a published! On a side note, I often wonder about those memories that never fade and I swear it has something to do with the way our senses are stimulated! When I read the breath of crisp mountain air, I immediately considered the tie this sense must have had on your emotions at the time! What a fabulous trip!


  4. What a beautiful piece. I felt as if I was hiking by your side, feeling the same sun, seeing the same vistas, and wishing I could protect you from the “fractures” you would eventually have to endure.


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