This time of year we gather the quiet.

The frenzy of life of summer life at 44˚N has subsided and the coast of Maine settles into winter.

As Andrew Wyeth said, “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feel of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”

Andy, as usual, was spot on. In winter we can see the skeleton – or skeletons – better.

And the quiet of it all, sometimes, most lovely of all.

And that’s what I remember so well about this moment, now maybe twenty or more years ago. It was so absolutely silent.

Only a desultory hiss of the water licking the fresh snow on the island beach. Otherwise, the most gorgeous silence.

I experience a great sense of privilege when out on the boat or walking around on islands in the winter. I feel as though the whole coast is mine. No other boats…nothing.

The absolute finest kind of time for creative trespass. And secrets.

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