It has been a good long while since we were here on the blog, and in that time the world has twirled a full pirouette, our new little state a small patch blurred into the skirt of the skies. I watch for falling stars sometimes, now that there is, when the moon is away, darkness. In that year, we have moved into our first home, and spent a few seasons cozying into our place on the hill overlooking the harbor. (Quick note that the good photos are Walker's; the blurry ones are my iPhone!)
Each morning, I search for words like I do names of birds, for the colors and textures of the sea. Sealskin. Baby blanket pink. And that ozone blue that twinkles and dances in the fall.
Fall gales blew us into the corners, uprooting massive pines that leaked frozen sap icicles onto the trails, making our old window glass shift and tingle in its old wooden frames.
The winter brought us our first bout of covid, and so it was a simple Christmas in our small village, and then a few trips, firsts in a year.
We started the year with a snow globe week in Minnesota, where we sat in the hot tub while downy and clustered flakes wet our hair. Days in, full feet of snow had softened and filled, and we came home to weekends of skiing nearby. Three years into life in Maine, and I am able to ski down most trails, even if children still whish by me. March's flakes came late, and we skied into April for the first time.
And then, our first international trip in 3 years, back to Canada. We drove hours through Maine's pines and lakes and then drove across the border, a first for us together, into Quebec, where we ate fondue dinners I dreamed of as soon as I woke, stopped at maple shacks, skied at Mont St Anne and took breaks for poutine. Back in the old city, we walked the cobbles of Quebec City for days ending with meals of crepes, buttery steak, sugar pie (favorites stops were Le Clan and Taniere 3, as well as La Buche for brunch and Le Continental for theatrical service.) It was pure magic: the beautifully restored city, the feeling of being a traveler, surrounded by a language you don't understand. We can't wait to go back.
Even into April, the bay floated with big puzzle pieces of ice, and Walker kept saying how was winter so short, 6 months into what most people would call winter.
In April, we started to smell the earth, a tang near the forest as it thaws and then the skunk cabbage came with its funk. Mud season brought weeks of damp and then a few glowing days, blue seas and crisp gusts. Weekends we tried new trails in Acadia where the sun-toasted dry pine smell makes me close my eyes again, and then a few moments later, on each hike.
With May came the barges to launch floats, appearing nearly to sink, out to put moorings in, creating the same V in the bay the geese homing have made in the air. Birdsong, some annoyingly persistent, some trilling sugar, started. Our in-laws/parents came and treated us to a luxurious trip inland to Moosehead Lake where our hotel's view over the lake felt like we had taken a train back into the wilderness, before the internet, before cars, and before noise.
We woke early to go on a moose safari and Walker took a few nature shots for the first time in years. We laugh at the white fluff on the moose, who have not yet gotten their sleek summer coats yet.
Lilac season came all in a burst, sneezy and then the trills of lupine. Our first year in the garden and with some help, we've watched new lupines, irises, orange-soda colored poppies. Walking together evenings, the peepers so loud we stop talking, we stop and listen to them pull closer in the forest bogs.
I fly back to New York every month or two for work, and eat tacos in my hotel or share dinners together, and watch my colleagues faces in the same room, and it feels sweet and good, and I am so lucky to love my job. And sometimes, a new haircut. The skies are tangy with smoke from Canada, and while I was gone last week, Walker heard two barred owls across the wood calling, almost barking.
Early June, these interstitial weeks before true summer have been magic in the unscheduled rhythms of weekends with long dinner parties, afternoons falling asleep reading new books under our new porch umbrellas. The last few weekends the skies thickened and it felt like a cold, clean sponge was dripping out over our town, but there is time to wire ethernet (Walker) and write to you (me).
My fingers have tightening and my arms firmed with months of cello, and the thrill of a new concerto coming out, the notes half wrong but some gliding.
We are getting back to a cadence of travel, being away and being home, but home feels like here, nearly 3 years into being in Maine.
Now in August, Maine is effervescent, the harbor twinkling in twilight sun, the roads lined with cars, and the hydrangeas the endless fireworks of thick summer. It's been a rainy year here, and so just now our sunflowers and dahlias have broken into pink and yellow stars. Sails float through the harbor on our best days, and produce from the farms nearby is shiny with the shine of the sun. I cannot stop from buying green cardboard cubes of local blackberries, blueberries, plums. I smile at the fat high bush blueberries on sale: everyone wants the miniature wilds instead, purple on our white plates after danishes and cakes.
I want to hold these moments and watch new one float in, and remember. Which is why I'm back here after these years of beautiful turbulence. From across the bay, there are some advantages of seeing over water: trying to recognize birds by their movements, some little rolling clumps, some smooth and straight. Words have been what I have missed in this rumble of making notes and a home and food for those I love. Thank you for coming back to keep reading.