Monday, August 10, 2009
Home Away from Home
I loved living in Maine, and I loved being back in Maine this past week. And while the coast of Maine is wonderful, it's inland Maine that calls to me.
It's a tough place to live. Jobs are few, and pay is low. Stuff is surprisingly expensive, and shopkeepers surprisingly surly. Everything is far from everything else. My uncle says it takes two and a half hours to get anywhere - and while that might be an exaggeration, I'd put the stress on "might."
Still, there's a raw, strong beauty in western Maine that pulls hard on my heart. The wind blows in big gusts down from the mountains. The shadows of the forests spill easily onto the fields - and before you know it, nature takes over, all but erasing man's work. Deep in the woods, far beyond houses or roads, stone walls mark long-gone clearings, fields grown over ages ago.
Something in all this resonates in me. Something in the wildness, the far-flung distances, the houses that need work or that shine with it. Something in the dusty towns, the cottage industries, the pot-holed roads. Something in the abundant black-eyed susans, the quiet forest floors, the blue pine trees ripped ragged by the wind - Something hard and strong and beautiful.
It was good to be back in Maine. It felt like going home.