Viewpoint: Looking down the road

By Beth Warner

I have yet to walk along a favorite carriage road. It underwent renovation and repair for months but had one of our island’s finest views of mountains and fresh water. I am curious, unsure if the road has changed. As we enter 2022, we all look down roads into an unknown future, some with resolutions, others with happy anticipation or with dread and confusion. Every new year creates an opportunity to take inventory, to ponder possibilities and various directions.

The recent release of the news that visits to Acadia exceeded 4 million and broke all records is feast for thought. Our independent Senator Angus King co-chairs the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks. Among the proposals being discussed is creating more national parks and monuments.

Until then, it’s time for all citizens on this rock to embrace a notion of interconnectedness and unity. Let’s all pay attention to how the most trivial actions affect just about everything rather than think what we do has little impact. It is entirely possible for a few individuals to affect the quality of life of an entire population.

In the spring, I visit Asticou when it is in glorious bloom, where there aren’t any wide carriage roads, only carefully raked, sandy pathways and one section where it becomes necessary to navigate across a swift stream of water by using only small, flat, elevated stepping stones. Great caution becomes necessary with each small step taken.

What steps will we take here on Mount Desert Island? Do we have a clear, unified vision of the future we all create together? Gandhi once said, “We must become the change we want to see.” Desmond Tutu said, “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” According to Darwin, “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”

Will the future of this special, unique vortex on our planet known as Acadia belong to those who are willing to look down the road into the future and envision work, we must do to create healthy changes, to preserve what we have of beauty and perhaps make sacrifices to create good, strong, sustainable legacies? Or will the road we look down be the one shaped by our materialistic society that defines all success in terms of money to be made?

To accomplish great things and to adjust to our new paradigm of millions of visitors require deeply thoughtful, careful planning, to be discerning when making decisions for a healthy future where there is a good fit for all, not just for some.


Beth Warner resides in Salsbury Cove.

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