Every time I come out to Monhegan, I end up thinking about things. It could be said that that’s the reason one goes to an island – to think about things.

When people ask me about what we do out on this island, I always answer the same thing: “We walk”. That’s actually the main thing we do even though it takes up only a few hours a day. When I am ashore the memories I have are mostly of the walks we took – the sights and sounds, the emotional impact of the trails. If I say that I go out to Monhegan to think, the rumors about my mental state would be confirmed. So we walk the trails. You’d be surprised at the amount of thinking one can do while walking on uneven terrain. So there it is. Walking is the rationale while thinking runs the show.

The most peculiar thing I think about every time I come out here – and we have been coming out here, with only a couple of exceptions when we had other places to go, for almost twenty years – is that this may be the last time I come to this island. I remember saying that on my first visit. I remember saying, “OK, I have done this. It’s highly likely that I won’t be back”. So you can only be sure of the past, the future’s unknown, you see.

Today was day number four on the trails. My legs think it’s day number fifteen or more. I am tired, achy and my mind is full of the idea that I am getting too old to try the more precipitous trails on this, my favorite place to walk. I don’t like this sort of thinking, but it is thinking and that is what I do out here. Could this be an old person’s disease? I think too much. My mind floats free without a tether in sight.

There’s more on this later, but for now, I want to rest and perhaps read a cool book about Chicago. Maybe even take a nap.

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