Where It’s At ... Monhegan Island

Posted:  Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - 12:00pm

Monhegan Island is definitely where it’s at. Every visit is an experience that touches your soul. The beauty, the serenity, the salt-laced air … the quieting of the mind and the feelings of contentment and freedom are nothing short of magical.

Monhegan is one of the places on Earth that imprints itself on your soul. Forever. And, once touched by this island, your soul will long for it until you return.

The boat ride aboard the Balmy Days (Pier 8, Boothbay Harbor) to and from the island is so freeing, liberating you from your cares on the mainland. The breezes, the sunshine, seals, islands, the cries of the gulls, the rays of the sun touching the water, shimmering like druzy crystals … all of your senses heightened …

And then you arrive, disembark from the ship, and the nurturing of mind and spirit truly begins.

The absence of vehicles, save for those owned by the residents of Monhegan; the unpaved street paths – many lined with sunflowers, hollyhock, gladiola, daisies and scented with rugosa roses … the hiking trails through forest and the dramatic, stunning rocky coastline … ahh, paradise found! (And believe me, as I write this I’m already there!)

My favorite places? Lobster Cove, the Meadow, a short walk through part of Cathedral Woods … Fish Beach, the Lighthouse and Museum; sometimes I even visit the library! At some point I find somewhere to just sit. Just be. This year I’m going in just a few weeks, on my own this time with journal, my runes (or Tarot) and camera in hand.

An artist’s paradise for over what, 100 years now? The galleries are always on the list of places to stop, to dream, with paintings to travel through ... there’s the Lupine Gallery and Edison Studio (on the way to Lobster Cove), and more.

The four and a half hours on Monhegan for we daytrippers pass quickly. Too quickly. It’s still a dream of mine to spend a week on the island. I had planned to do this with my beloved shih tzu, Merlyn, and, I remind myself, he still can – but in spirit only.

I usually grab a bite to eat at the Fish House. Picnic tables near the water and Fish Beach make for a great place for a repast of beer and seafood, maybe some conversation with people enjoying the same.

By this time, Monhegan has worked its magic and both soul, mind – and stomach – are deeply satisfied yet longing for more time. There’s always a tinge of regret as the time nears to board the ship and head back to Boothbay Harbor. And, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been here 30 years come Labor Day and I love it here, but even the Harbor can’t beat Monhegan Island. But, you know, (insert smile here) it’s OK by me. I’m actually quite lucky to live in such a beautiful place to live, work and dream and to have the “soul food” that is Monhegan just a 90-minute boat trip away …