The beauty of the Maine landscape is all around me. I often ponder, do I truly appreciate its full range of exquisiteness, or do I rush by and miss all it has to offer?

Up and over the slight rise on Black Point Road and past the old Scarborough Grange Hall, over the tracks and down the gentle slope to the marsh, this is a route I frequently travel. Bringing my children to school, rushing to the market or sharing in car-pooling are some of the many tasks that tend to fill my day.

For a few fleeting moments, however, I try to forget all these obligations and let my eyes slowly drift across the tract of land known as Maine’s largest saltwater marsh.

Unlike the vast uninterrupted space of the ocean, the marsh brings many visual points of reference. This is the time of year to look for wispy hints of green that will soon touch the tips of the marsh grasses. Years of observation have taught me that the changes will be very subtle at first, a hint here and there starting by the snaking bend of the Nonesuch River.

One spring, within sight from the road, I noticed a mother goose sitting on her nest. Every day I would see her in the same spot faithfully warming her eggs. “Mom, you are obsessed with that goose!” my son and daughter told me. How much enjoyment I would have seeing the goose every day in the same spot and talking to her while driving by.

As the seasonal clock ticked forward that year, spring and summer came to pass and sadly the goose left with her young, but I knew that soon to come would be the lovely autumn hues of gold, orange and cranberry red reaching across the great expanses of marsh grass.

Then there will be early winter morning trips to school, driving our route over the Nonesuch. We will see sea mist rising from the water and ice crystals clinging to the orange clay and silt of the stream bank. In a month or so these wispy crystals will morph into large sheets that will form and break with changing tide.

Maybe our trips will be timed fortuitously so we can witness a full moon rising, the marsh filling with water.

During astronomical high tides, when the water is highest due to the moon’s closer orbit to the Earth, it might look like an immense lake, with hardly any grasses showing at all.

When I was a child, Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” conjured up vivid images: the obedient horse, flakes of snow tumbling down and the tranquil and peaceful spaces of the dark woods.

Older now, I understand the larger message for me in that poem. I have lived in Scarborough for 20 years. I travel across the marsh most days while on my hurried way to fulfill one of my many tasks and obligations.

Every time I make that trip, I remind myself of how fortunate I am to live in such a tranquil, wonder-filled place and to stop and take the time to see the beauty in the natural world right in front of me. 

– Special to the Telegram