Thriving in Your Tribe

When Harrah first moved to Maine, many of us worried about her. She was leaving her community in California, and heading off to unknown parts. She had quit her job at Pomegranate, a publishing company, put her stuff in storage, and loaded up her Miata. Her son Seth flew out from New York and drove her to the East Coast to find a new home. For all the years she had lived in California, she was never really at home. She’s an East Coaster and nothing could change that. Not even those of us who loved her so much. She visited family and old friends and began exploring up and down the New England coast. Somehow she landed in Rockport, Maine,  rented a cottage across the street from Camden Harbor, and a year later purchased a lovely little yellow house nestled in the woods.

Now, ten years later, she is thriving in this little creative community. She’s a successful freelance book designer and publisher, and literally every place we go she is hailed by people who know and love her. I’ve lost count of all the people she has introduced me to. I’m her friend from California, or “Away” as those of us not from around here are called.

Harrah has given me some perspective on turning fifty. She began this journey of reinventing herself and following her dream when she was fifty-six. She encouraged me to do a little math. I could easily be working and doing and living a full life through the age of seventy-five and beyond. That’s at least twenty-five more years. She asked me to consider all the life I have lived over the last twenty-five years, and to look at having all that time and more still in front of me. Turning fifty is just the beginning – and something to celebrate with excitement and anticipation for all that is coming. Okay. I’m in!

Since my arrival on Wednesday, Harrah’s phone has been busy. Her friends have been inviting us over so they can meet her friend from California. There are more invitations than we can accept. This area is a thriving creative community, and most of Harrah’s friends are artists of some kind and range in age from 20 to 90. The conversations are deep, enlightening, and fun. There are numerous art schools here, loads of galleries, and interesting creative people who love to congregate, sip wine, and talk about art and politics. Their homes are beautiful, with stunning views of the harbor. Harrah has found her tribe and she is thriving in it. It makes me happy and helps me to better understand why she had to leave California.

Here are some photos of some of our adventures since I arrived.

At a Pub in Portland

At a Pub in Portland

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Street Musicians in Camden

Street Musicians in Camden

Lantern at Camden Harbor

Lantern at Camden Harbor

Harrah Chatting with Friends in Camden

Harrah Chatting with Friends in Camden

Camden Yacht

Camden Yacht

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Twilight Schooner in Camden

Twilight Schooner in Camden

Call From Sandy

Call From Sandy

Open House at Camden Inn

Open House at Camden Inn

Duckfat Cafe in Portland

Duckfat Cafe in Portland

Harrah in Camden

Harrah in Camden

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy Bryant on July 4, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Fawnsie, you’re in your creative element too! Fabulous photos and how beautiful our Harrah still is, especially in that blue sweater. Seeing you makes me anticipate your arrival even more.

    Reply

    • Posted by fawngilmorekraut on July 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks Sandy, I’m looking forward to my next stop – with you. Having fun with my new camera. Yes our Harrah is still stunning.

      Reply

  2. This post so resonated with me, Fawn. Remember when we both lived in Morgan Hill? Well, I told no one, but I wrote in my journal (at age 15) that I believed I was meant to live on the East Coast. All my favorite authors, it seemed, lived there and their descriptions, their stories of life back East ,called to me, leaving me with an ache, almost. And I’d never even (in my conscious memory) visited anywhere outside of California! It made little sense. But 18 years later when I stepped outside the Buffalo, NY airport I felt as though people were dancing in the streets–for I had come home. And ever since, I’ve felt at home here, grateful, too, as though I’m living among my people.

    Some things are just like that, I suppose. Or perhaps it’s that sort of longing which God places in our hearts to get us to where He wants us to be.

    Thanks again so much for sharing your birthday journey with us! I’m enjoying the adventure and your memories so much, especially your memories of all those years after I left MH. It’s lovely discovering the lost years of Fawn. Well, you know–your years which were lost to me. 🙂 Hugs, Debra

    Reply

    • Posted by fawngilmorekraut on July 6, 2010 at 1:51 pm

      Debra,
      It’s so clear that you are in your element now. I so enjoy your blog posts and your photos. It makes me feel at home – in your home. You have definitely found your creative outlet, which includes your land and your home.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Fawn

      Reply

  3. Posted by Little Sis on July 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Look who has become quite the photographer!!! Wow. Those pictures are amazing and Harrah looks beautiful. I am glad that she is doing so well there and you are getting to experience it with her. Thank you for sharing your adventure.

    Reply

    • Posted by fawngilmorekraut on July 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks Sis. I’m loving my new camera. Hanging out with these photographic artists brings some inspiration – and intimidation – to do better, learn, explore, and have fun with it.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Niki Pickthorn on July 7, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Hi again, Fawn! Lovely pictures, And it makes me wonder where that “home” place is for me, at the lovely age of 69! Your friend is beautiful, and she reminds me of Merryl Streep. (I can’t remember how she spells her name…)
    Anyway, God bless your trip, sweetie.
    Niki

    Reply

    • Posted by fawngilmorekraut on July 8, 2010 at 2:26 am

      Hi Niki,
      I think for some of us “home” is a geographic place. For others it’s a relationship. I think for all of us truly, home is in our own hearts – and we’re all on a quest to find that place of peace and quiet in our own souls. Yes. Harrah is beautiful – inside and out.
      Thanks for your comment.
      Here’s to HOME,
      Fawn

      Reply

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