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  • A little, yellowed and curled newspaper clipping hangs on the wall in my parent’s kitchen.
    There is a picture of Eastern neck cove with a band across it saying “Not for Sale”.
    The article goes on to describe the land trust arrangement to preserve the wild space as a commons.
    **

    We are haunted by an Island.
    Those of us who have walked on the shores have never fully recovered.

    My parents came to the Island when they were young and their oldest son was carried in on their back.
    They walked through the dark spruce woods to the far end of the Island, past the two coves.

    Eastern neck cove and Southern neck cove are back to back with a strip of woods and trail in between that time is quietly returning to the ocean.
    Beyond the neck, they arrived at the head of the Island.

    From the head you can get a reading of life without mankind.
    Geology and mythology have their playground out on that granite kingdom that the glaciers deposited and the ocean pounds.

    My parents fell in love and will never recover the sense of life before that encounter or life without that presence.
    They fell in love and never left the Island.

    I was married on the Island.
    My Father, as a justice of the peace, read an excerpt from the bible.
    Unusual for him, as a non-believer of Jewish descent, but he appreciates good words and sentiment.
    He read the excerpt from Jacobs ladder with a trembling voice.
    “Surely this must be the place and I did not know it,” he read.
    “This is sacred ground,” my Father said in conclusion.
    I was married on sacred ground.

    Over the years my Father worked out a complicated land trust with other neighbors to preserve a large parcel of land.
    He gave away his rights to the shares of acres he owned on a wooded outcropping that overlooked the Eastern neck cove.
    There is a small plaque in the woods that marks this transaction.

    I have had trouble over recent years finding the time and the space to have my life include the Island.
    I am sometimes even disturbed by the legacy I am bound to.
    It was chosen for me and I have to now choose it, again, for myself.

    This is the first summer in more than 50 that my parents will not go out to the Island.
    Age and health are wearing at my Father’s physical heart.

    But he has another heart that is made from granite and ocean.
    Both hearts reside at the foot of a ladder that connects to the heavens.
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