Free Short Wednesday: Jordon Pond
This is Creative Nonfiction from a dear friend and former student, Sharon Heady Labansky.
Please enjoy getting lost in her lovely depiction of an afternoon of reckoning with nature, the future, the past, and self.
Overlooking Jordon Pond she stood there breathless. She wasn’t breathless from climbing 790 feet to the summit. She was breathless because the 360 degree panoramic view of her most beloved place on Earth left her speechless. The bird’s eye view of Jordon Pond was perfection.
She stood staring at every ripple rolling over the pond. And because the pond sat isolated from the Atlantic Ocean, the body of water seemed to be much larger than a simple pond. But it was simple. It was quiet. Every so often she heard the squawking of a soaring bird or Mother Nature’s breath running past her ears and that was it. Although she could see passing cars on Loop Road, she couldn’t hear even the slightest resemblance of an engine.
She felt tall. Cars were matchbox vehicles and stretched out at the farthest curvature was Jordon’s Pond House. As a matter of fact, the Pond House was barely visible from where she stood but she knew the landscape so well from the years of standing on the berry field, cuddled next to the Pond House, overlooking Jordon Pond. That is where she always stood to admire Bubble Rock. She always wished to stand on the apex of the Bubbles and finally she made her way. She was Lady Liberty herself looking down on the America the beautiful.
She knew that painters below were painting her on their canvas layouts so she mounted herself on the ground strong and fearless despite looking over the rocky edge. The queasiness in her gut triggered panic. Tumbling down the Bubble’s rock cliff would be easy if she did not pay attention to her footing. But that horror swept past her mind as white fluffy clouds overhead blanketed the sky. She sat. She sat and soaked in the sights of Acadia National Park.
Bundled up and knees tucked close to her chin she pulled out a treat and took a sip of water. She enjoyed feeling cold from the perspiration she acquired from the hike up the mountain. And as she cooled down the temperature change on the top of Bubble Rock was obvious. The fact that the temperature change was noticeable was a phenomenal feat for such a short hike up a mountain. That is was is so amazing about Acadia. Each and every hike showers you with surprises that only nature can provide.
Jay sat down beside her. The two didn’t speak but they simultaneously followed the rolling hills with their eyes. Their eyes traced the hidden valley. She looked at him. He stared out at the ocean. Finally he spoke, “You can see the ocean”. She responded with “Yea. I never realized that the ocean sat just behind Jordon’s Pond House. That’s the thing about this place. No matter how many times you visit you find secrets and hidden treasures”. Jay’s silence proved her point.
The couple strolled to the left hand side of the summit, which offered an entirely different view of dense woods filled with evergreens, maples and oaks. She took a deep breath in and filled her lungs with the freshest air. “Too bad we can exchanged our vows here”, she said while exhaled.
“I don’t think our grandmothers would be able to hike it up to the top,” Jay retorted. They chuckled.
“We can renew our vows here at least” she replied with hesitation.
“That’s a good idea. Our kids can come.” Suddenly, the coolness she felt on her skin was washed away with the warmth of her heart.
He started to head back over the summit and down the trail. She lagged. She wasn’t ready to leave. She didn’t want to stop looking out over the pond in case she missed something, and then suddenly she thought that this wouldn’t be her last time on the top of the Bubbles. Savoring surprises for her return to Bubble Rock tickled her with geeky excitement.
The twenty-something woman hustled to catch up to her love. He was already in the forest trail. The smell of balsam fur helped to formulate a grand plan for an autumn trip to the park. “Jay!” she shouted, “Can we come back in the fall?” He didn’t answer, but he waved to a couple heading up to the top with their golden retriever. She smiled as she passed couple. Each long stride down the path generated comments that she blurted out. “We need to bring the dog up here next time we come.” It seemed as though that the top of the Bubbles was the only place that left her speechless.
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