Thursday, May 28, 2009


Maine in May

Now that May is nearly over, I find I need to make a list of the things that have brought me a particular bright joy this month, and as I do so, I see that most of them are country pleasures, still not used to living outside the city as I am, even after nearly two years: rain-drenched lilacs, violets in the grass, carpets of wild strawberry blossoms, three lady's slippers that Ryan spotted near a place we walk often (creamy white with faint pink veins - I haven't seen one since I was a child, and here are three), on a later walk in the same place a red fox trotting along the verge, back at home a few tentative wild turkeys crossing the yard, robins nesting in the cedars outside our kitchen door, onions sprouting their long green tops in tidy grids in the garden, down the street at the beach harbor seals lolling on seaweed-covered rocks as the tide falls, on the way home a red cardinal singing on a gray gravel driveway.

It seems that spring has been slower coming and more lush and green this year than in the past. Probably because I'm outside noticing small changes every day, and now the leaves are in full leaf and we've mowed the lawn four times already, and most of the garden is planted. And I've been out looking hard at the details, painting some of them, and afterwards, sitting in the sun reading more Ronald Blythe books, and day-dreaming. I'm nearly through his third Wormingford collection, Borderland (Black Dog Books 2005), and I see that his thoughts about a certain kind of spring day run parallel to mine (p.181):

"Once outside it is virtually impossible to go in again. All I want to do is lie where the sun can touch me. It reminds me of sprawling above the Atlantic in Cornwall when I was a teenager and becoming mesmerised by the blue tumult below, the regular biff of the water on rock, the crying seabirds, the hot sward, the thinking, 'Why ever go home? Why go anywhere?'"

On this side of the Atlantic, I could say the same. Oh, wait - this is home. (**glee**)

Beautiful! Some years ago I read Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of The Pointed Firs and I thought I must somehow, someday get to see Maine.
In the meanwhile, I shall use your descriptions as a substitute.
Thank you.
Thanks, Lincoln. I dearly love Jewett's books. "Pointed Firs" is a wonderful book to read aloud, if you like to read aloud with someone you care about.

I should also have added the blueberries are all in flower right now, and the fields around town are humming with happy bees. Blueberry flowers look like tiny pinkish-white bells.

Don't miss Maine - at its best it is one of the most beautiful places - but, I have a bias...
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