• Debra Berry

Bar Harbor: October 17, 2021

It’s nearly time to leave Bar Harbor and this adventure. It has been such an experience!

I am going to be very vulnerable here, and share with you since my buddy Carol left I was feeling depressed, angry, disappointed, sad, and in general just a lot of negative energy. I have been tearful at times and homesick. I was feeling very down, however a special friend encouraged me and gave me permission to, “feel it all and just be with it.” (Thanks Donna!)

Two days ago, I began to feel like myself again after a hike at Jesup Path. The sun was bright, a cool breeze tickled the leaves on the trees while colors of red, yellow, and orange danced in the breeze and then rained down to the ground. I listened to a woodpecker in the distance somewhere and just breathed in the fresh autumn air. I began to feel a part of something greater than myself.

Jesup Path led me to the Hemlock Road Path. I looked up the path, it looked a bit isolated and dark. I thought, “If I go up this path will a moose get me?” While there are moose in northern Maine, there are no moose in Acadia National Park or on Mount Desert Island, so I was safe from a moose encounter, so I ventured forward.

I started up the path. I spotted a large tree that had fallen alongside the path . . . my inner voice asked, “If a tree falls in the mountains, does it make a sound?” With that question posed, my inner voice chatted away for the rest of my hike. Questions like: How is this path like or unlike other unknown paths in your life? What will you learn from this path?

I began to think about Alice, a nurse I worked with many years ago. I read a few days before, Alice had died at the age of ninety-eight. I remember thinking back then she was a very kind and happy woman but a bit of a “ditz.” She would chatter on and on and spring from here to there often with what I thought was no sense of purpose. After I had read her obituary and thought, "Wow!" I was embarrassed and ashamed. I had no idea of the extraordinary life she lived, the experiences she had, and the many people she served.

As I continued walking, I began to think about how the young women I have been working with perceived me. They know little about my life and experiences. I had felt judged by some of them as being incompetent and perhaps a bit "ditzy." I thought, "I am their Alice.” I do not blame them, however I began to ask myself, “How do I share my authentic self with the younger generation in a way that they will want to know more of me? How do I inspire and nurture these young women?” No quick answers emerged, however I know they will come.

Suddenly, I am at the end of the Hemlock Road Path, and what do I find but five different paths leading in different directions. Talk about being at the crossroads! My inner voice began to recite a line from Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken . . .”Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” but I had five. My voice asked, “Which road leads to my next adventure?” I looked down all five paths, I stood at these crossroads and laughed to myself asking, “How is this different?” Then I heard my reply, “It’s not, you have always had a choice. You have always ventured ahead.” My intuition, my voice, guided me down the path home (okay back to my car).

The day before my hike, I was asked if I would like to go home early. I could end my contract two weeks early if I liked and was encouraged to think about it overnight. Well, my answer came through loud and clear when I picked the path back to my car. As soon as I got back to town, I walked to the shop and told my manager, “Last night was my last shift. I am going home!”

I am leaving Bar Harbor Monday morning, however this is not the end of my blog about

this adventure. There will be a couple of more experiences I want to be sure and share with you, but for now, I am packing to go home, so stay tuned.

Until then . . .

Love one last time from Baa Haabor xoxoxo

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