|Behind Dunkin Donuts in Machias. Hunter's Moon.|
|View from the walking trails on the Machias river.|
I am in love with my state. I always have been. During the past two months, I have visited many parts of central and northern Maine for the first time. There is one specific view that catches me off guard every time. While driving through Patten there is a spot where you can stop and take in miles of open fields, rolling hills with changing maples and oaks, dark outlines of evergreen trees, and Mount Katahdin in the distance, ALL in the same picture. It takes my breath away.
One day I will stop and take a picture of this gorgeous view. I haven't yet because I'm usually in such a desperate state trying to keep the boys calm during the 5 1/2 hour drive. I also tend to get very discouraged by these landscapes...I see them as being too big and too beautiful to try to capture them in one shot. It would never do it justice.
Where the sights of northern Maine are gorgeous, I am quite partial to downeast Maine.
It has always been my home, and I'm proud to be a "downeastah". Happy to say that I've always appreciated what it has to offer...the ocean, the lakes, the woods, the blueberries, the people. Now that I have moved away from it....going back takes me to a tourist state of mind. Places that I've always known to be beautiful, now pop out at me like never before.
|View of the hunter's moon in Machias, early morning.|
|View of third Machias lake from Washington Bald Mountain, Wesley|
|Sunrise on Machias river from the view at Inn at Schoppee Farm|
To Mainiacs, Maine is not merely a place. It is a spiritual home and shelter as perfectly fitting and comfortable and natural as its shell is to a snail; which, like snails, they carry with them wherever they may go. To them, Maine is a state of mind and a way of life inseparable from the geography and topography of the area and from their own bones and blood and thoughts and dreams.
"What on earth do you do for fun around here?"
"What do you mean the nearest Walmart is one hour away?"
"Are you serious? You have to drive 2 hours to go shopping at a mall?"
Unfortunately, for the tourists who ask me these questions, just like the snail that Louise Dickinson Rich describes...carrying the shell wherever we go...I get very defensive. I feel the need to protect my home. I get angry when people can't appreciate the simplicity of things. First of all....I hate shopping. I loathe Walmart. Every time I enter the place I end up wanting to hurt myself 20 minutes in. I hate it simply because my brain cannot handle such overload. Hannaford in Machias is my place to shop. I love the simplicity of being able to walk into a store and knowing exactly where to find what I need. I like knowing the names of the employees. Are the prices higher than Walmart? Some of them, sure. But I know that when I walk in a Walmart....I'm going to purchase more than what's on my list...just because my brain loses all control and sensory overload destroys all rationale.
It is impossible to convey a frame of mind, to explain why I love my state, and why I love Machias to someone who has already decided to hate it and pity me for being stuck in such a desolate hole. Of course not every tourist asks these questions with the same horrified look on their face. There are plenty of tourists who return every summer to soak up everything good our area has to offer. It is their opportunity to unwind, to get away from it all, and to recharge. Come early September, they're shipping out to carry on their busy city lives.
Simply stated, ours is a different way of life. It is not for everyone, that is for sure. But for me, it's the way life should be! :)