When less is more

Written by Morgan Foster, Outreach Coordinator, Team New Hampshire

I’m not exactly sure why they call it Star Island – I haven’t asked anyone or tried to look it up on Wikipedia. For whatever reason, I don’t particularly care to know. I’m sitting down on a pile of rocks (although the whole Island is essentially a heaping mound of them) looking out at crisp blue water decorated with golden brown wreaths of seaweed. The pale gray rocks have just put on the sun’s blanket and they are warm against my summer-painted skin. There are seven sailboats in sight, all slow dancing to the ocean’s choice of song. One of them has a loose mast that ticks back and forth like a grandfather clock keeping time for his loved ones. Small birds tiptoe on salty drift wood while others collect berries nearby. There’s an island off in the distance, which seems just as peaceful as this one. The grass doesn’t look better on the other side – it’s the same verdant shade of green.

I look down at my hands writing these words. My nails are short and pink but stained with dirt from planting lavender and wild chamomile. My fingers are long and thin.  I think they’re good for plucking weeds from the earth. The smooth and rounded bottoms of my feet ask to be a compass – they want to take me somewhere.

Two hours later I settle in the northwest corner of the island. My feet push against a long egg-shell painted fence, sending my body deep into the pocket of a wicker chair. My ears are full with the sound of earth’s patience – waves swell over the pale rocks where I sat before, a windmill thrums in the distance, cattails bobble together.  There isn’t a sound that doesn’t belong.

I notice an old man sitting a few rockers down – the only other person in sight. He’s tall and lanky with cracked skin and weathered posture. His hands are folded neatly over a book he seemed to have lost interest in. He follows a fluttering monarch with his eyes, quietly chuckles and smiles up at the doughy clouds in the sky.  I wonder what he’s thinking. We seem to be like-minded people and I consider asking him about his day but I can’t summon the words.   I realize there’s no need to say what’s already been shared by silence. Amidst the serenity of our natural world we have embraced the most sought after form of communication.

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2 Responses to When less is more

  1. Candy says:


  2. Franklyn says:

    A fortunate experience… Can’t say that I know very many people who have had the opportunity to stay overnight on the Shoals. I hope you brought a camera. Snap some shots for me of the interior of the hotel, and also of the church.

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