matt pond PA

August 29, 2015


The view here is from my mom’s porch in St. Andrews, Canada.

When I was young, my parents spent their last nickels and dimes buying this little patch of land on the Passamaquoddy Bay. It’s one of the first views I remember.

Closing and reopening my eyes is like a time machine.

I learned to ride a bike here, my brother and sisters cheering me on through my fears.

Here’s where I remember our family being a family. Before the divorcings and the private schools for my sisters — the complete seed-like dispersal.

My oldest sister Piper was the chief, directing us through all our exploits. We’d play sardines in the shadowy sunset. I’d always lose because I was both the youngest and most unsharpened. (I still feel like I could take a few passes over the strop)

We were a gang that would badly time our daily beach adventures against the constantly ebbing and flowing sea. Mesmerized by the treasures and tide pools, examining the marine life minutiae, the miniature worlds of barnacles and snails. (Years later, we would find out the true truth. The magical blue sea glass — our highest form of currency — actually came from the refuse of apathetic drunkards throwing Labatt bottles off the pier.)

Only when our sneakers began to get wet would we realize that our exits from the shore were quickly being cut off. The steep cliffs of reddish orange sandstone behind us, the oncoming ocean in front — the endless deep green ominousness with its paralyzing cold.

Through the eras of rebellion and into the supposed self-realization of songwriting, I’ve been browbeaten by my psyche to make the yearly trek up the Maine coast and to this place I probably know better than myself.

There will always be bonfires on the rocky beach. There are still those stars that are so bright and intense, they seem synthetic. On the most blindingly lit days or in the deepest fog, there is nothing that compares to both the thoughts and thoughtlessness that come from being here. Comets, bats, eagles — and once every visit, a seal will pop her head out of the water for about thirty seconds. And then she vanishes.