Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More Trees than People

“We’re driving,” I said to my twelve -year-old son. No, the Subaru had not arisen from its grave. We also have an aging Volvo. Actually, the Subaru is not dead yet. The crash looked far worse than it was, and it certainly gave my husband a bad scare. At least the kids weren’t in the car.

“It’s only 7:00, I want to walk to the bus stop,” my son replied. It wasn’t that he was traumatized by the recent accident. “I want fresh air before school.”

“Fresh air? It’s 10 degrees out. Why don’t you go stand in the freezer instead. It’d be warmer.” I’m not exactly a morning person.

“Mom, 10 degrees is warm for Maine in January.” He’s not wrong about that.

Just like last year, it has been a warm winter, and you can’t help but feel worried about global warming. There are people out there who would drive to a bus stop to save themselves a 10 minute walk. I bundled up like Nanook of the North and followed my son out the door on foot.

The snow that came late in mid January was a welcome relief. Skiing keeps me from feeling low. It’s not just winter blues. Every time I come back to Maine from NYC, I experience reverse culture shock.

Before moving to Maine, I had never lived in a place where the trees outnumbered the people. Nine years later I have acclimated and love raising my family here, but I still feel out of sorts immediately after a trip to NYC. It’s so quiet and remote.

The solitude is good because it’s what I need to write. In the woods I ski alone with my dog and my thoughts. I come home to a house that is a mirror of my life. The backyard is old growth forest, but the front yard has a sidewalk heading into town.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your sense of place -- you really give a good description of a Maine winter morning.

Looks like the back of the car was demolished, but the front untouched. Good thing.