Discover more from Megan Clouse: PhotoStory
A move to the island was not Judy’s first choice when looking to start her life over again. The passing of her partner, a severance package, and boxes full of tears as she packed her home of 26 years had been her life these last few months. She would have happily had everything back as it used to be if she could wave a magic wand.
She actually knew the island in a previous life, long ago at age 15. A summer of waiting tables in cutoffs and kissing a cute weekend boy behind the boathouse. The island, just off the mainland, had been an easy place for her parents to send her for two months, making it sound like a great adventure, but truthfully it was so they could squabble and bicker and slam doors without an impressionable audience.
Despite the real reason she was there, some good memories still shaped her summer. Like, morning swims and late-night slumber parties with new friends. But the island mostly held the sadness of two parents slowly unwinding themselves from each other with not enough energy to nurture a scared teen.
Carol arrived to help with the packing, walking into a wall of boxes neatly stacked in the dining room. “Judy, I’m here.” she hollered in the general direction of the ceiling, not knowing which room Judy was in. A faint muffled reply came from above, “Come on up, I’m in the attic!”
Winding her way up the back kitchen stairs, past the window landing, and up another set of stairs, steep with age, Carol found Judy surrounded by old boxes with crusty art supplies and dusty canvases that leaned under the eaves. “Carol, can you believe that I forgot about all these boxes!? My father was so disappointed when I announced my major would be in fine arts, not law. I remember feeling alive when I was painting! How was it that I stopped painting?” Before Carol could reply, Judy continued with a softer voice answering her own question, “I guess it was just life.”
The rental listing was simple. “Humble island cottage available now, with the agreement the tenant will care and upkeep the garden, plus help open and close the main house when needed. One bedroom, nothing fancy, but the sea breezes make up for the small kitchen. There’s also an old shed with good window light behind the cottage. It has potential if the tenant is willing to clean out all the junk and scare out the mice. Would make a perfect art studio.”
[photograph by me - story is fictional]
Note: Taken on Monhegan Island Maine, June 28, 2022. Hardy Boat Tours hired me to explore the island with the only instructions being, capture the essense. I walked up to vistas and down to beaches, but it was the people who captivated me the most. It’s a marvel to watch this small artist community just doing life, while sharing space with mainland visitors. The island could not have been more enchanting!