Sunday, July 29, 2012

Maine: A Love Story

Just after you cross the big green bridge into the state of Maine on 1-95, see the sign on the right, big and bold. "Maine: The Way Life Should Be."

My Maine is not coastal lighthouses or rocky beaches. My Maine is off the highway and into the woods, into tiny towns and villages sprinkled with lakes. Our camp is in an area not far from where the mountains begin.

Old Vienna post office, just down the road from Flying Pond

I've spent time in Maine at our camp nearly every summer since my mother did before me...and my grandfather before her...and his father...and his father's father.

Camp Road

Our camp (in Maine they are camps, mind you, not cabins), was the first on Flying Pond in Mount Vernon. My great-grandmother was married on the porch under the hemlocks, the same porch we now sleep on, nearly a century ago.

I love this place, despite its lack of indoor plumbing and internet access. Or maybe because of. The camp is timeless. While I have moved several times, while I no longer have the houses of my childhood to visit and remember, while life circumstances may change and people come and go, the camp is always there.

At night the loons call to each other over the lake, a backdrop to our dreams. In the day the wind whispers through the hemlocks. At the water, motorboats hum by, or canoes. We wave hi as we sit at the beach and read or swim or play.

My Maine is drives to the mountains or to Farmington for Gifford's ice cream. My Maine is picking sweet blackberries or blueberries and searching for signs of bears and moose in the quiet woods. My Maine is state fairs and small towns and a slower way of life. 

When I was a child, on snowy nights during long winters, I would lie in bed and conjure an image of the camp. I'd pretend the sound of the snowplows heading up my street were actually the motorboats on Flying Pond. I knew then that summer was always waiting. The camp was waiting for me. God willing, the camp will always been waiting for us to return. 

I think we all have a place like Maine, like the camp. It's a place of wonder. For some it only resides in our hearts and memories. Others are blessed to savor that it's still real.


Kathy said...

Such a beautiful post!

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful gift!