Just south of Greenville, Maine, before you get to Monson, is a tiny little town called Shirley. It is so small that if you blinked, you might miss it. You won’t find a lot of things in Shirley. There are no traffic lights, no big box stores, no banks and no congestion. What you might find, if you look closely, is a spectacular view and the best frog hunting this side of Moosehead Lake. I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon enjoying the hidden gem known as Shirley Pond with my family recently and I am happy to share it with you.
For my four year old son, it is a wonderland. For my fourteen month old daughter it is a delightful play space full of surprises. For my wife and I, the view is incredible and the serenity a welcome respite from every day stress and worries.
We were all transported by the childlike joy of hunting and catching frogs in the pond. Everybody splashed and dove to try and capture the quick swimmers and log hoppers before they disappeared beneath the surface only to reappear just out of reach.
Just up the road from the pond is another magnificent view. If you stand in the middle of the bridge and look south, you will be treated to a vision of pure Maine beauty. Water, rocks and trees meet the sky and clouds in perfect harmony.
Shirley, Maine might not have many of the things I am used to but the more time I spend there, the more I realize is that it’s value is in changing my expectations and reminding me of what is truly important. Time spent with people we care about in this beautiful world we all share is by far our most valuable resource and one we too easily forget about. Sometimes it takes a place like Shirley, Maine to remind us that what we really need is less, not more.