This summer came in slow and it’s still behind schedule. The end of August brought our hottest days, the kind we usually get in July, if they happen at all. My guess is, or rather my hope is, that we are about to settle into a long slow slide into an even longer fall. Winter, when it comes will have plenty of time to push us around. Lets not rush things.
A few weeks ago, while driving our 30 year old van back from a trip down east, I found myself totally lost in the feel and warmth of Maine’s rural back roads. The views through that huge windshield, the sweet warmth of the summer air blowing in through the window and the sights and smells reminded me once again what a special place this is. The diversity of landscapes and the diversity of the work people do breeds a unique type of person. There is of course a unique character to all places, but Mainers seems particularly molded by the place they live. It reminds me of Appalachia, a part of the world I hold dear, but here, for better or worse the people are tempered by the sea, the vast mountain wilderness, and by the hard winters.
I’ve embraced this mainescape and its people this summer, particularly the people more then usual. I often find myself on the outside looking in but that’s a great way to move in the world. I’ve spent some wonderful times with friends and students but some of my fondest recollections from this summer are the times spent observing as a passer by. Families on a picnic in Acadia, farmers haying a field, a rocky hillside as blueberry rakers work their way up towards the skyline. On a recent kayak outing around Garrish Island I found the southern end of the island had become a Sunday afternoon destination for hundreds of beach goers. Every small cliff, stone covered pocket beach or sandy stretch of open beach was occupied. It was never crowded but it was full. There were sunbathers, folks wading in the water and even swimming, for it was a hot day, and everywhere conversions and friendly waves as I paddled by. That trip alone offered enough summer memories to carry me through much of the winter. And I’m sure summer is not done with us yet. I’d love to hear how you summer is going. Lets keep in touch.