There are some nights where I try to talk Sam into a bedtime story like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, or something of similar brevity. But tonight he requested One Morning in Maine and I was perfectly in the mood to oblige. Vivian was asleep, the dishes were done and I hadn't had a whole lot of quiet time with my boy. So, we snuggled down to get lost in memories of our birth place. Clay and Vivian were both born here in Utah, but Sam and I can lay claim to Maine and, I believe, feel a special yearning for it. I usually try to visit each summer, but with Vivian's arrival this past summer, I missed my annual pilgrimage. I've been feeling particularly homesick, so it was a treat to revisit, if only in a book, the fond memories and feelings that thoughts and stories of Maine evoke.
One Morning in Maine is long and leisurely, the kind of book you can't hurry through, but must take at its own pace, much like life in Maine. You learn to take Mother Nature and her many surprises in stride when you live in Maine. You learn to savor the beautiful moments and roll with the punches such as overnight ice storms, wind-downed trees, and multi-day power outages. But in this giving in, there's a liberation that I miss while living here in a less dominant landscape with quicker access to all things technological, civilized and purchase-able. It's the same feeling I get on the rare ocassion I borrow Clay's beat up pickup; I stick to the slow lane because I'm forced to, and knowing that I have no other option and can't rush, I simply enjoy and savor the ride.
One Morning in Maine is about an island girl's trip into town with her dad. They dig clams in the morning for the mom to make clam chowder for lunch, they take their boat across the harbor to buy milk and groceries, but must row as the outboard motor is broken. In town they chat with the mechanic and listen to old codgers' jokes and enjoy a leisurely ice cream cone. There's nothing monumental about the story, but there's joy in the every day tasks, a celebration of the mundane. It's such a peaceful book and I love slowing down at the end of the day to share it with Sam.