At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution. I would try to see every sunset I could. Luckily for me, there is no better way to end your day at Maine Coast Semester than by going down to one of the points and watching the sun sink behind the trees. As the last golden rays of light depart behind silhouetted pines, the world becomes silent and the sky is streaked with soft brushstrokes of pink and lavender. I often find myself sprinting to Hoyt’s Point with friends after classes end, trying to catch the last precious moments of sunlight before a dusky blue settles over the neck. The sunsets I’ve witnessed from Hoyt’s, the Waterfront and Ideal Point put my familiar Chicago sunsets to shame.
During the first week at Maine Coast Semester, I watched the sunset every evening with a different group of students. Rather than sitting with each other on phones, like I commonly do with my friends at home, we traversed icy hills and sprinted freely across cow pastures. I credit many of my closest friendships here to those first few sunsets. We would plop ourselves down on boulders at Hoyt’s point and have genuine, meaningful conversations while watching the sun retreat across the water. There is something about experiencing the beauty of the natural world together that can cement a deep friendship in a matter of minutes.
As I begin to pack my bags for spring break, I’ve started to reflect on the semester so far and on what I want to attain from the rest of my precious time here. The thought of venturing back into my regular life after my first month and a half at Chewonki is truly bittersweet. While I’m looking forward to reuniting with my friends and family, (and my dog!), it pains me to think of spending two weeks away from my incredibly semester community. Tonight, my friends and I will watch one final sunset before break. The first chapter of our semester will come to a close. Over the next two weeks, and long after Chewonki, I know that I will be transported back to Maine each time the sun sets–back to frosty evenings, huddles with friends, and the awe-inspiring feeling of being surrounded by incomparable beauty.
Kate, Lake Forest High School, Lake Bluff, IL