Friday, March 25, 2016

Maine Dreaming

Photo by Dave Breton
Spring has sprung here in Washington, DC and the cherry blossoms are popping out all around the Tidal Basin and throughout Potomac Park.  The flowers and the forsythia in our yard are all in bloom.   I would enjoy it far more if spring did not also bring with it the dreaded tree pollen that clogs my respiratory system come March.  It was hard to shake off winter this year.   There were early hints of sprint but these were followed by brief bouts of snow and cold, blustery days.  Hopefully those are all finally behind us.

With the arrival of spring, I begin to think forward to our annual summer hiatus at the lake cottage in Maine.   It won’t be long before we return to the shores of Sabbathday Lake where we shall remain through September and the onset of colder weather forcing us southward one again.  Spring has not arrived there yet.  It was an easy winter in Maine relatively speaking; there has been little snow and the ice on the lake has been too thin for ice-fishing.  Our summer neighbor took the above photograph of our cottage and the lake.  Normally snow would be piled up half way up the outer walls and the lake would be dappled with ice shanties.  Not this year.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that in Maine they do not have a summer, but just a thaw.   That’s not really true at all.  Summers in Maine are beautiful.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

"Maine is a joy in the summer,” wrote Paul Theroux.  “But the soul of Maine is more apparent in the winter."   Maybe this is true, maybe not.   Still, winter has not yet let go in the Pine Tree State and today some snow and freezing rain continue to belie its continuing grip on northern New England.   Spring will come soon enough . . . it always does . . . and the detritus of winter will be swept away.  The ice will melt and docks will go back into the water.  The resident loons will return along with us summer people from away.

So I sit here on this pleasant spring day in Washington and dream of summer in Maine . . . “an' the livin' is easy.”    It will be here soon enough and the dream that sustains me through the winter will come true.  

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