Monday, June 21, 2010

Glory Days in Maine

I don’t know about where you live, but here in north central Texas, it’s already purty hot. (y'all say it with me: PUR-tee)

Well, not hot as in fry-an-egg-on-your-truck’s-hood hot, but purt-near close. And it’s supposed to stay around 100 with no rain in sight for several more days.

The prospect of which made me put off my deep and dreary essay that I intended for today, and instead took me to a no less sunny, but far more enjoyable place in my mind... that wonderful cabinet where my memories of Maine are stored... (it's a wooden, two-tier cabinet; hand-made, of course... with a thick, faded coat of light blue paint...)

Memories not so much of Maine's atrocious cost of living, or the interminable distances between towns, or the fact that many of my relatives there work more than one job just to make ends meet.

No, on days like today in Texas, my imagination easily flits far away to where my gaze rises to behold an iridescent blue sky, sometimes with the puffiest clouds of cleanest white, betraying nary a speck of pollution in such pure, salt-tinged air!

Or maybe my gaze turns and stretches across miles and miles of the crystalline oceanic water, sharp flashes of sun glancing off the crisp waves, twinkling like millions of city lights that are oh, so far away. The water that comes to shore has a greenish hue, and turns a golden color as it washes over stones, pebbles, and rocks, themselves either caked in barnacles or flecked with veins of granite. As the waves pull back from the shore, lap after lap, they return to the deep Atlantic, perhaps to caress a whale or lick the bow of an ocean liner.

Ahh.. and the boats... they ride upon the waves… sail boats gliding peacefully, silently… lobster boats with hardworking motors, putty-putty-put, erratic as the lobsterman swirls around his buoys to retrieve his catch… all the while, the softly rhythmic lapping of the waves on the shore, the incessant uncontainable tide washing and waiting for nobody.

A tide that changes the hue and buoyancy of the water as it creeps up to the rocky coastline, and then mysteriously retreats back out to sea. Not in your timeframe, but to a clock all its own. Your view of the water, across its broad expanse of twinkling lights, stays the same yet changes constantly. Only nighttime hides its comings and goings from view.

And without those city lights, nighttime can be the darkest blue you can imagine. Never pitch black, like tar, except in the bleak wintertime. But I’m going to forget wintertime, just like I forget the high prices and high taxes. Cloudless summer nights seep into the fading sunlight and before too long, reveal their own twinkling treasures of stars and constellations nestled in the velvet of blackest navy.

The perfect summer day in Maine is so perfect – the only real explanation for why so many summer people, year after year, generation after generation, pay so dearly for the privilege to spend weeks or the whole summer there.

I used to wonder why I would see so many convertibles with Maine license plates, until I realized that even though Maine only offers a relatively few days for motorists to enjoy sporting around with the top down, what glorious days those are!

Those glorious Maine summer days… their memories keep me going here in the Texas heat.

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