This I Believe

Landon - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on October 30, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“A Beautiful Point” by Landon Knapp

The steady flow of the river is captivatingly serene. Rocks line the shore like sentries guarding its beauty. The trees have crept to the very edge of the water, fighting for the best view. Not even the clouds can resist the call of the river, rolling by slowly soaking up every drop of the collage of color reflected from its surface. The Damariscotta River in Maine is certainly one of the most beautiful places on the coast, and tucked away just miles before its end is a house my family calls Barroll’s Point.

The Point is one of the most unique and special locations to me, for it is the one place where my relatives can come from their various locations all over the world and join together for weeks of merriment and joy. This piece of property, owned by my Great Aunt and Uncle, is one of the best in the region. The house they reside in was built off of a historic barn that was sailed down the river in the year 1836 giving our family plenty of space to live comfortably and happily with each other for months. Voyaging to this location is not a ritual started with my generation, but is something that my mother and her brothers and sisters have done every year of their lives. That is why when my dear Aunt and Uncle passed away it came as an enormous loss in many ways for all of us.

As I departed to the old house on the river an immense sense of reality struck me suddenly. “This may be the last time I will ever be back in Damariscotta,” I thought to myself, “How is it possible I won’t have the annual fulfillment of such deep and riveting scenes of beauty.” I knew that I must take advantage of the last trip to the far north. When the car made its decent down the old gravel driveway leading to the enormous barn doors everybody had a sense of tranquility and peace about them. The impact this familiar scene imposed on all of my relatives residing there that week was unmistakable. As always, time rolled by with an upbeat tempo the Point’s occupants carried with them along with their luggage.

Before I even realized it the calendar had shed six days since our arrival and now only retained four more until that dreaded day marked, “Return To Richmond.” After bringing up the lapse of time to my brother, who was also taken aback, we quickly made the decision that we must go out to all of the places we loved most about this location. Approaching the lighthouse at Pemaquid Point made my eyes almost as misty as the product of the rolling waves smashing against the rocks at the shore. Sitting on the enormous walls of stone, I could recall exactly all of the times my brother and myself had been on adventures there, traversing the ever-changing terrain of quartz and granite. I used to imagine an endless battle between the ocean and the gigantic fortress of boulders and walls of rock standing before the lighthouse. Every year I returned it seemed neither was the victor and the last year was no different.

Journeying into town my eyes were enriched with a collage of friendly faces. I even recognized a few of the shop owners who had become almost friends over the many years. This beautiful town and all who inhabit it are tucked away from all of the wrongs of the world it seems. Frowns are a rare commodity in the town of Damariscotta. My brother and I stopped for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Red’s Eats. It’s just a tiny booth on the lip of the ocean, but the view is worth a five star rating. To go along with my favorite restaurant I had to order my favorite meal, Maine Lobster. The fresh lobster in Maine is probably one of the biggest treats you could possibly present to your taste buds and mine were greatly appreciative of my choice.

The crisp, refreshing air that day enticed me to take out the small motor-powered boat tied up to the dock that belonged to Barroll’s Point. As I trolled around lobster pots and dodged seaweed the seals bellowed hearty calls in my direction while frolicking on a warm rock. I put the boat in neutral and sat in that spot watching them for a few minutes. The seals reminded me a lot of the people in Maine at that moment, just enjoying their surroundings and soaking up the pleasures of being alive. Upon returning to the dock I was beckoned inside to wash for dinner. I fixed myself a hearty plate and joined my family at the extended dining table. As it usually tends to be with my family, the entire table was in a dull roar of conversation, laughing and enjoying themselves to the fullest extent. It was at that very moment that I realized I would never leave Maine for good. I will always have my beloved memories that I can access and go back to the peaceful sounds of the rolling river any time I wish to.

Having a place like Barroll’s Point in Maine has enriched my life enormously. Being able to stay with so many of the people I love most in life for such long periods of time has really brought me very close to my family and instilled in me deep-rooted values that I will never forget for the rest of my life. Being fortunate enough to reside in a place with such majestic beauty has showed me the value of nature and all of its inhabitants. Of the trips I have taken to Maine, all of these aspects and so many others that lie under the surface have laid the foundation for what kind of person I am to this day.