Physical distancing at Hendricks Head Beach (drawing by Peter Bruun)
Physical distancing at Hendricks Head Beach (drawing by Peter Bruun)

“not horror, not glory, but storm
          not fear, not power, but focus
      on the work of breathing, living as the storm
rocks us and our insides upside down.”

—from Another Strange Land by Aaron Coleman

Today, I know the storm; we each know the storm. We are in it, and at the work of breathing: rocked, yet focused.

Hello, friend.

Webster’s Dictionary defines friend as “one who is attached to another by affection.” How can we not feel affection for one another when we realize fellowship is what we most need, as we do today in our COVID-19 storm? Friendship above all.

Therefore, I call you friend.

I am new to the Boothbay Region, yet in my less than a year here I have experienced time and again this community’s welcome. As creator of this chronicle, I hope to reply in kind: my fervent desire is to welcome you to this forum. 

My wish is to be a friend.

Yarrow & Cleat is not an idea of my own.

No: credit must first go to Reverend Peter Ilgenfritz, Interim Minister at Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor, who called a brainstorming meeting with several area residents, and whose tale is included in this issue. Thanks also for invaluable input to Gardiner Rapelye, former President of the Southport Island Association.

From several conversations and a need to do something, this was born.

“This” is something with a purpose.

Yarrow & Cleat aims to share stories and vignettes from our community, offering messages of hope and inspiration to combat any fear or despair we may feel before COVID-19. This chronicle celebrates resilience and fellowship, bringing compassion and connection so we may become stronger and more present for one another, especially for those living in silence or need.

Format and content no doubt will evolve, guided in no small part by a diverse group of advisors rooted in the region and input from our readership, for which I am ever grateful.

You have been here for me, I am here for you, and we are in this together.


Peter Bruun is an artist and writer who moved from Baltimore to live year-round in the Boothbay Region in summer 2019.