If once you have slept on an island
You'll never be quite the same;
You may look as you looked the day before
And go by the same old name,
You may bustle about in street and shop
You may sit at home and sew,
But you'll see blue water and wheeling gulls
Wherever your feet may go.
You may chat with the neighbors of this and that
And close to your fire keep,
But you'll hear ship whistle and lighthouse bell
And tides beat through your sleep.
Oh! you won't know why and you can't say how
Such a change upon you came,
But once you have slept on an island,
You'll never be quite the same.
Oh, it is June. It is June and I should be in Maine. I should be in a tent, there should be waves crashing everywhere--I probably should be soaking wet from either getting into or out of a boat in questionable conditions and I should literally be guarding my flock. But I'm in MD. I'm at home, and trying to remind myself that I like home. Just got off the phone with a friend who IS on her island tonight, and I was fine until I heard the fog horn, and then I swear my heart broke a little, because I will never get over Maine. I will never get over Pond Island, and one day I will be a wee little old lady crying for the sea and the birds and the blasted fog horn which probably screwed up my hearing forever and the very soil of that place just as now I am thirty-one and not so old quite yet but doing just that.
This poem by Rachel Field is so sappy, but it's perfect anyway--and reading it on nights like these always makes things a little less lonesome--because she probably cried for her island too. And she probably watched terns fishing in the surf--each coming up with its own silvery fish to bring to a rolly poly chick.
OK, there has to at least be a moment of natural history here: the rocky crevices and sand dunes of Pond Island create excellent nesting habitat for terns (subfamily Sterninae, of the family Laridae). The turbulence created by the interface of the Kennebec river and the Atlantic ocean is the foundation of a booming fishery, and this unbeatable combination draws common and Arctic terns north from their wintering grounds. There.