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Balance Rock, Bar Harbor, Maine

If consistency was the highest pinnacle of success, Balance Rock, and a million other rocks just like it, would be Grand Poobah of All. Beaten by waves and wind, lost in fog, awash in sun, Balance Rock has been still. At peace. A rock, tossed up in some magnificent storm, stuck on the shore to be molested and adored by children and daredevils since the Wabanaki enjoyed these shores without us.

Balance Rock, pretty good-sized certainly, was a tourist attraction in Bar Harbor once upon a time. Even a lovely, rather pricey, hotel still bears its name. If you are of an age, you can remember when seeing a huge rock was an event. Touching it, reaching up as far as you could, boosted by your dad or older brother, perhaps even making it to the top – it was the sort of thing that “My Summer Vacation” essays were made of. “That rock was sooo big…” “It took nine band aids…” “I saw stars for awhile…” “I felt like I could touch the sky…”

Ann James Joles

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