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There’s something about a coastal island, surrounded by water yet firmly locked to the earth, that is deeply compelling. It offers tangible isolation from the madness of the mainland, yet is close enough to feel its gravitational pull. Some combination of luck and inclination brings me to islands occasionally, where my gut tells me it’s not nearly enough.

Maine has over 4600 coastal islands, big and small. Some are barren rock knobs, others are quite large, and covered in forest and diverse landscape. Visiting each is nearly impossible, property rights being what they are, but if you visit enough of them you might just realize you aren’t really seeing them at all. The right island soothes a restless soul, and like a soulmate, you’ll know it when you find it. Isn’t it far better to linger with a favorite or two than to endlessly collect names on a list? Islands, as with all such things, ought to be savored.

Would an island offer enough of the world to satisfy a vagabonding soul? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But I hear their whispers, and wonder if I ought to pay more attention.

Sunset on Long Island, Maine

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