Here’s the thing about my trip to Maine, and even my trip to D.C. (which I might tackle tomorrow): you’re not really going to be that interested in hearing about it. It’s like writing about what I dreamed or what I ate for lunch. Sure, it might be interesting in some respects, but it’s probably nothing you haven’t already had to sit through already with someone else. It’s the same with taking pictures. "Here’s a picture of a place I visited!" And, oh, it looks like a hundred million other pictures of that exact same place that a hundred million other people have already uploaded onto the Internet. Vacations, dreams and meals: the most overpresented subjects in the history of communication. Which isn’t to say they don’t make for great filler, and which absolutely isn’t to say I’m above writing about them when I’m floundering for creativity.
But. Maine. First off, going to Maine– specifically, going to Maine to pick blueberries– has been something my mom and I have talked about for longer than I can remember. Every summer, she would remind me that we should fly to Maine and pick blueberries, and every summer I was never able to go– until this summer. So this trip was in the making for a very long time, and getting to check this off the list was a huge deal for me.
And then we got there. We flew into Portland from Dulles, and as our plane began its descent, I looked out the window and my heart stopped. Islands, big and small, heavy with vegetation and dotted with houses and surrounded by sailboat upon sailboat. Blue, blue water rolling up against the grey rocks and cliffs that formed the coastline. And then– trees, everywhere trees of every shade of green, interspersed with red brick structures and farm-style houses and colonial buildings. And all of this as the sun was beginning to set. It was an introduction to New England that is pretty hard to beat.
The vacation itself was wonderful, too, of course. It rained for the first half of Tuesday, which I loved. We went to the coast and I got to play a little in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time and we went to some lighthouses and took pictures. My mom got to eat Maine lobster and I tried Grape Nut pudding, which is supposedly a traditional Maine dessert, a variation on bread pudding (and suprisingly fantastic). We went to an orchard and picked blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, plums, and apples; then we found wild blackberries and wild blueberries and picked those, too. And I climbed a tree that extended over the Saco River and watched the water as it lazily drifted by, and on our last night there I crawled through some wilderness by a bridge and balance-walked a fallen tree trunk that crossed a busy stream.
But the beauty of everything I saw in Maine, from the second I stepped outside of that airport to the second I walked back in three days later, struck me in a way I haven’t been struck– in three years, really. It’s a risky sort of feeling; being able to access so great a height also means being able to access so low a depth. I’ve been fortunate enough to have evaded the latter for two years now, but the sacrifice has always been– the former. Of course I’ve still been able to appreciate beautiful things all this time– but Maine. Oh, Maine, Maine sneaked inside of me and burrowed its way into places I’d forgotten I’d had locked away. The night we flew in, the entire drive from Portland to Hiram, I had to dig my nails into my palms to keep the ache in my chest from swallowing me whole. Our hosts teased me during our stay about how I was "quiet as a church mouse"– but the truth is, I couldn’t speak. Maine just kept taking my breath away.