|Morning Haze Lifting, Penobscot Bay, oil by Phoebe Porteous|
|Peaks Island Street, oil by Cooper Dragonette|
You get the picture. Over the course of that year, my view of Maine developed as an earthly paradise, free from all sordid cares and difficulties. Here is a partial list of the things I had NOT been introduced during my courtship:
Bondo covering up salt-induced rust damage
Duct tape as a cure-all
30 days of the temperatures never rising above 20F during January
|Mud Season, print by John Sloane|
Potholes big enough to qualify as vernal pools
The necessity of wearing Hunter Orange every time one steps outdoors in November
Summer traffic on Route 1
Reader, I married him. Would I have done differently if I had known that Maine had a few blackflies in the ointment? Of course not. Getting to know a place deeply over many years is not dissimilar to getting to know a person the same way. The flaws start out as annoyances and wind up as endearing familiarities. And, as in a good marriage, Maine has given me the space to grow into the person I was meant to be. I’ve changed from a hurried, harried urbanite to a relaxed, contemplative country dweller. I went from having an entire black-tie wardrobe to wearing Bean boots beneath my skirt at the symphony. I started as a law student looking for money and status and grew up to be a writer facing the world with open hands.
|Tukey's Bridge, oil by Caren-Marie Michel|
And on those summer days when I’m walking through Camden, or sunning at Pemaquid Point, or just driving on Route 295 over Tukey’s Bridge with Casco Bay stretching out to one side and Portland rising on its hill in front of me, I know it’s been a match made in heaven.