Yesterday I was up in Maine.
Yes, I know you have figured out that I take every opportunity to be in Maine, and work very hard to balance the fact that I am married and also have children and I am telling you that it would be a lot easier to have an affair with a person than the affair I am having with this place.
And the reason why is that, if I were having an affair with a person, it would be way more covert and require lots of cunning – and maybe a superpower or two – to get away with it. But I cannot hide that I am having an affair with this place – the house and gardens, the island and other stuff – I even love how the soft light greets me each morning in and then follows me around throughout the day…the slow, sensual way the dew trickles down the stems of…
Stoppit! This is not a Danielle Steel novel.
Anyway, it would be a lot easier if I was all secret-y and stuff because then I would not be constantly wishing my family was there with me to share my joy as I check on things and get things ready for us all. Plus most people having a real affair don’t want their whole family hanging out with them and their Tryst Trinket in a seedy hotel room in Queens…
Which is always where I imagine my affairs would take place and I don’t know why.
But I was in Maine yesterday and it was grey and misty and occasionally rainy in the way that seems to be unique to places and spaces near salt water, slow and romantic.
I took some time to check the gardens, keeping my speed at ‘stroll’, and not once up-shifting to ‘saunter’.
The peonies were heavy with wet, and leaning on the ground for support. The roses happily watered and waiting to show off.
And, even before the sun actually broke through the smokey clouds, I could feel it.
It made no sense. It was cool, and the light blue-grey.
But I could feel the warmth coming.
This summer, we will head to Maine. Me, JoHn, various mixtures of the kids-who-are-no-longer-kids. And there will be newness, because Granny – whose name is June, but we never call her that – will come up too, and spend far more time in Maine with us than she has in the past.
For years, she and Grampa would come up for a week or two, but a full summer in Maine was never something that would have worked for him. Old Yankee Men prefer to be home to putter. There is only so many things to do at someone else’s house.
But Granny loves Maine. Always has.
She loves new things, new routines. At 83, she is still so vital. And I love that she is talking about what might be next and what her new life will be, and I wonder what mine and JoHn’s will be too.
Because, for each person who lives with and through the death of someone they love, the world becomes new. I have decided I actually like thinking about this in a ‘new world’ way, vs. a ‘new normal’ way. Because ‘new normal’ sounds more like something I need to get used to.
‘New world’ sounds like something I need to explore.
Something that I’ve come across, a new landscape I didn’t expect.
Another important part of my own journey through this life.
Before Grampa went into the hospital, this last time, I wrote about not being sure whether we would be moving to the house in Maine in the next few years because, no matter what he said, it would have been too much to move him if he wasn’t doing well. One doesn’t move an Old Yankee Man without a great deal of thought, preparation, and girding of loins.
But now things have changed, and we are all excited about Maine, including Granny.
I find myself thinking about what has fallen apart for Granny, and for the rest of us…
And what will fall into place as a result.
I find myself supporting her as she begins to allow herself to feel the warmth around the corner… that sunlight that could burn, or burst, through the clouds at any moment. And not to feel at all guilty about the small moments of excitement or joy that she feels when she considers her new world.
Those moments don’t mean we don’t miss him.
Or well up when we come across simple little reminders of his time with us.
That’s what I was thinking about as I was strolling in and by the gardens, and along the path in the labyrinth we put in, specifically designed to heal brains and bodies.
And these thoughts bounced around in my brain as I watched the peonies, and the yellow flowers that I long ago forgot the name of, shed their heavy rain water and rise slowly toward the sky.
I imagined them reaching up, with unquestionable faith in the coming warmth and light.
And I welled up in wonder and joyful expectation of a world having fallen apart, being rearranged, and falling into place.
Thanks for readin’.
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