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Wild Beasts of Autumn

Moxie Falls, Somerset County, Maine

“You see, to me, it seems as though the artists, the scientists, the philosophers were grinding lenses. It’s all a grand preparation for something that never comes off. Someday the lens is going to be perfect, and then we’re all going to see clearly, see what a staggering, beautiful world it is…” Henry Miller.

My wife and I recently returned from a three-week stay at our Maine cabin. It’s the time of the season where we celebrate our grandson’s birthday; spend time with friends and family. So we put away “our stuff” for the deep freeze of winter: drain the water pump, store all toys aquatic, and anoint the plumbing fixtures with their proper dose of glycol (always with fingers crossed!).

This year, the free-falling regalia in the Maine woods were nothing short of exceptional. On the clearest and mildest days, we embarked on day trips to explore my home state. With every turn in the road, the conflated, saturated hues appear as though the hooves of wild beasts unwittingly paid homage to the Fauvists. It is the conspicuous nature of nature. The beauty of this transformation is a colorful reminder of our mutable and inescapable condition–a way to letting go–that makes room for something else, something more just around the bend.

And then there’s always our little Mirror Pond snatching up sunlight in the most playful ways. Looking out at the water, you can see the hypnotic waves performing Brownian movements of–as I like to call them–dancing diamonds. Also, the pond’s warmer temperatures conspire with the frigid morning air to stage an atmospheric ballet of mist replete with swirling pirouettes. It’s our participation and reverent attention that grinds and polishes the lens of our experience. Perhaps, we are all artists, scientists, and philosophers who can suspend judgment and remain receptive to the primary qualities and mirror-like waves of dancing particles.

“La beauté est une promesse de bonheur” (Beauty is a promise of happiness) -Stendhal

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A Maine native, Marc Jalbert is known locally as the former owner/baker of the Gettysburg Baking Co. and Pomona’s Cafe. His short essays have appeared in the Gettysburg Times as “The Baker’s Table.” He now bakes bread weekly for The Natural Food Co., Gettysburg, teaches a one-on-one, Covid compliant bread class, and supplies sourdough bread for The Mansion House (formerly the Fairfield Inn). Marc lives in Upper Adams county with his wife, Juli where he enjoys “building things” and playing his guitar.

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Sue Adams Haller
Sue Adams Haller
3 days ago


Janet Powers
Janet Powers
2 years ago

It was too short — would like to see more photos too!

Bill Serfass
Bill Serfass
2 years ago

Beautiful in all regards, thanks, Marc!

Marc Jalbert
Marc Jalbert
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill Serfass

Thanks, Bill! Maine was definitely on its best behavior weather-wise. We, however, were not. Ha!

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