The News from Maine for Summer Folks

As I drove home this afternoon along Route One between Brunswick and Newcastle in my mud-splashed car, I thought about those of you who descend upon our town in August, confiding to each other how you adore Maine.

What would you think if you saw us now, I wonder. For five days in a row I have worn the same outfit: black knit pants and a gray knit sweater. A perfect expression of the way I feel right now, the sweater is the same color as the concrete-like snow banks that line the lumpy road. It’s the same gray as the clouds bearing down on the horizon. It matches the Damariscotta River reflecting that sky. The shape of my sweater is as unspecific and secretive as the snow that has buried the stone wall in my yard.

Come summer, I may resent your oversized SUVs—here we tend to drive Subaru wagons or pickups—but I will appreciate your fresh faces and your appetite for blueberries and corn. I will welcome you. Now, in an April that seems more like late February, I dream of your arrival. For those of you whom I count as friends, I imagine hosting a magical evening twinkling with witty conversation as we sit in wooden chairs in the firefly-lit grass or lean against the slumbering rocks on the shore under stars. You’ll carry news, and new ways of thinking. And you’ll bring to me an excuse for laughing, for drinking gin and tonics and cracking open lobsters on a dock. For you I will rip the bilious blue plastic off that bulbous mound of white fiberglass that balances on its toe in my yard, and set it afloat.

Yesterday I was visited by an explosion of color. A flock of goldfinches, twenty or more, invaded the birdfeeder by the dining room window. As I read the newspaper, a flash of yellow caused me to look out at the landscape I had long since lost interest in. Do me a favor. Wear a tee-shirt that shade of yellow when you come, will you?


[© Barbara Burt. Unpublished]

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