Spring Comes to a Small Maine Island

Last winter was a mild one by Maine standards, but that doesn’t make it any less of a joy to see spring finally and fully here. At that, perhaps I’m being a little optimistic as we’re still being warned not to plant anything but pansies yet because of the still-present danger of frost. And yet….from my office window I see sunlight glinting off the water much later in the day and lobstermen who have been on shore all winter happily heading out again, their boats piled high with traps.

It’s amazing how much things can change in just ten days or so.  Just in the short time since Easter, daffodils have bloomed, tulips are up (except for those that the deer ate–sigh), and lilies-of-the-valley, my favorite of all the spring flowers, are popping through the ground.  In another week the first of the seasonal shops and restaurants will open and a new cycle will begin. Our little island village of some 100 year-round residents will be bursting at the seams with summer residents and visitors who stumble upon us at the end of the peninsula.  It’s always fun to see them arrive and always reminds me how isolated life must have been out here before cars, the Internet, and social media made it possible to stay in touch wherever you live. The foundation for one of Maine’s great old summer resorts is on my property  and I think about the “rusticators” who, early in the 20th century,  took the long steamer ride from Boston to spend the summer season here.  They’d be amazed at how much things have changed, I suppose, but perhaps also surprised at how much has stayed the same — fishing boats chugging out to sea, the island’s little white church still the center of the island’s social as well as spiritual life, old lilacs starting to bud, and eagles soaring overhead.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself to be sure I haven’t made it all up.

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