Oh, New England!Posted: July 16, 2012
We were in Maine for a modified summer vacation. The original plan to spend a week on the island has been superseded by a cross-country move. Although I am a bit sad there are not days and days of unstructured summer idylls ahead, I am rolling with the change like a true New England girl. I hope this ability to hold fast to my dreams but lightly to the present conditions does not change when my zip code does. This afternoon we had a playful romp in the cool lake waters, which was abruptly ended by the booms of thunder rolling in off of Baxter.
Before we even realized a storm was brewing, lightning struck across the lake. Everyone scrambled out of the water and tucked in for some quaint indoor summer activities–guitar strumming, strawberry shortcake eating, salamander petting–but I lingered on the porch until the torrent let loose. It was really powerful watching the curtain of rain close in from across the lake. If I’d been alone I might have sat on the porch in contemplative observance of the extreme weather that so suddenly displaced the ideal summer day. Then, as unexpectedly as the thunder storm overtook the day, it retreated and gave us back the blue skies, taking with it the languid humidity of the last week.
Any New Englander will agree with me that the first breaths after a summer rain shower contain a kind of electric energy. Air like this is why we put up with all the frenetic weather. Its a shot of life injected into the lungs. Its right up there with the scent inhaled on a snow capped mountain, or the first inhalation of salty ocean air after being trapped in a car for 4 hours on a drive up from the city.
New England is where I was born. It is where I have formed my identity, and it is my standard to which I measure all other locations. New England can be difficult–fickle, cold, unfriendly, extreme, and inconsistent (me too!). But New England is also breathtakingly beautiful, rich with poetic landscapes, overflowing with intoxicating natural scents, and the place I hope I’ll always return to…if only for 4.5 days at a time.