Thursday, December 22, 2011

inside and outside

In my experience, my mother valued the indoors for one purpose - reading. She loved to read.
Otherwise, why stay indoors? Everything she loved was outdoors: her cows, her garden, her sailing, her hiking...
Years ago, I arrived late at night in Sorrento, Maine, having driven a ruthless 8 hours with 4 young ones, ages 5-10. Exhausted, I pulled in to Guestwick to find: no food in the refrigerator, unmade beds, and - in my perhaps warped memory- not even enough eating utensils for everyone. ... It was so startling to realize that my mother didn't even notice that anything was missing. In fact, I believe in the end that I was the only one who did. The next morning, the children were swept outside to the magic of the shore, the boats, the islands, the trails. The outside. Mom/Grandma shared what she loved and the children fell in love with her Maine, too.


  1. Indeed, Mrs. Heyward takes with her one more spirit of a bygone American culture. Alas, now we can all look forward to the UVA Foundation shutting the rest of us out of our beloved Foxhaven.

  2. Yes, Matthew. And thank you. I keep thinking of the poem, "Fern Hill." I never thought I would wake to see the farm forever fled . . .