I walk to friends’ houses. They are summer friends and aren’t here now, but I visit them anyway.  I take a photo of their house or street sign and message them. They live on Cozy Harbor, Beacon Hill, Strout Road, and Capitol Island (you know who you are). One friend has a camera in her house. I wave; maybe her phone will ping and she’ll see me.

When you walk, you have time to notice. I consider my neighbor’s chickens. They cock their heads, return my inspection, and dismiss me. I admire beautiful stone walls set back from the road in the woods. I listen to water falling over rocks in the stream beside the Cross Road. I sneak up on flocks of turkeys. Near the library, I peek between the bushes and over the fence and glimpse the alpacas. I am grateful for small signs of spring—blooming bulbs and new ferns.  I hear gulls screech, ospreys whistle, and the occasional boat engine. Cars pass and I wave; other walkers say hello from across the road. We keep our distance, but are all happy to see each other and exchange greetings of encouragement and hopes for good health and a return to normalcy.

My freedom to be outside is a gift that those in urban areas don’t now have. I do not take this for granted, and am grateful to be in this place at this time. I appreciate now, more than ever, the time, the peace, the space, and the walks.

Jen Britton

Jen Britton was a 25-year summer resident in the Boothbay Region before settling full-time in the area two years ago. She can be seen most days walking not far from her Southport Island home.