After a very long winter, spring has arrived on the island in a flurry of crocuses and daffodils. Covid-19 has meant an island life even quieter than usual, with most people staying home throughout the winter except for necessary forays to the grocery store or medical appointments. We will look back on it as a winter of cancellations–no potlucks, no church services, no holiday parties with half the island crammed into someone’s living room. But it has also been a time of neighbor helping neighbor, whether it’s lending a hand with shoveling, checking in to see who needs a pickup at the grocery store, or driving a friend to a medical appointment. Although there have been no services at our little white church, volunteers continue to ring the church bell at noon every Sunday, just to signal that we are here and available for help if anyone needs it.
Fortunately, life is slowly returning to normal. Most residents are now vaccinated and many are once again heading to the mainland for lunch at one of the open restaurants or for the simple pleasure of wandering around Reny’s. Construction is booming and before long summer people will be rumbling across the bridge that connects us to the mainland. There are no “good” places to wait out a pandemic, but if it has to be done, there are certainly worse places than on a small island in Maine.
At last…the first full day of spring is upon us, the sun is shining, the birds are tweeting ecstatically and we can almost overlook the still-huge mounds of snow blanketing our small Maine island. There are no signs of summer tourists yet, and with another big snowstorm on tap for next week, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing them any time soon. At this time of year, I think all of us (about 100 brave souls) who live here year round give ourselves a virtual pat on the back for making it through another winter. And this winter was exceptionally cold and snowy, even for New England.
As I’ve chatted about before on this blog, those of us who love New England in general, and Maine in particular, wouldn’t live anywhere else. The seasons of the year do mimic our lives when you think about it…springtime when everything is fresh and new and anything is possible; summer when the world, and we, are at our peak; autumn when life both outside and within slows down and we become more contemplative; and of course winter, the sunset of the year and of our lives.
Speaking of sunsets, the vernal equinox sunset was spectacular. It’s the kind of scene that has inspired so many Maine artists and writers through the years. Let’s hope there are many more gorgeous sunsets to come as spring arrives on our quiet island.