Today we had a discussion with friends about the southwestern part of the United States, New Mexico in particular. Our family has spent a lot of time in Santa Fe and I grew up in Colorado. Thinking about the rugged mountains, arid climate, wide-open spaces, and perpetually blue skies often sparks pangs of longing in my heart, especially on days such as this; well into springtime, it is 40 degrees, raining and windy in Maine. We are still wearing turtleneck sweaters and winter jackets.
But then, driving home from our visit with friends, through the rainy car windows we see the reluctant leaves just beginning to pop out on the maples and birch trees. The pale green is not yet more than a mist enveloping the still-bare branches. The bridge over our river carries us by an old mill that has been restored and made into a charming restaurant. The sturdy white clapboard houses along Main Street steady themselves against the wind, black shutters nailed on tight, bright red doors welcoming those caught out in the storm, and warm glowing lamps through the lace-curtained windows indicate a pleasant room filled with the scent of home-baked bread and hot cider.
Maine is so cozy and colorful. Each season brings a new reason to cherish this state. When I miss the blue skies of the southwest, I remember that every place has its pros and cons. But when I add them up, Maine seems to have much more of the former and very few of the latter.
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