Monday, October 24

"Now I understand why some men must go to sea," said Anne.

Unencumbered by any of the realities of such a life, I hold a long-cherished dream: to live by the sea. And not a tropical island in turquoise waters, either. I'm talking about a misty, mythical harbor town somewhere in the Northeast. A place with lighthouses and slanting, shingled roofs and fishermen.

You know, Maine.

And so, let us proceed into the land of fluff and sentimentality. Rose-colored glasses optional, flowery language mandatory.

"There was a certain tang of romance and adventure in the atmosphere of their new home which Anne had never found in Avonlea... 

...There, although she had lived in sight of the sea, it had not entered intimately into her life. In Four Winds it surrounded her and called to her constantly...

...From every window of her new home she saw some varying aspect of it. Its haunting murmur was ever in her ears...

...Vessels sailed up the harbour every day to the wharf at the Glen, or sailed out again through the sunset, bound for ports that might be halfway round the globe. Fishing boats went white-winged down the channel in the mornings, and returned laden in the evenings...

...Sailors and fisher-folk traveled the red, winding harbour roads, light-hearted and content...

There was always a certain sense of things going to happen -- of adventures and farings-forth. The ways of Four Winds were less staid and settled and grooved than those of Avonlea; winds of change blew over them; the sea called ever to the dwellers on shore, and even those who might not answer its call felt the thrill and unrest and mystery and possibilities of it."

Doesn't that passage just thrill your to your very fingertips? Doesn't it make you want to "catch the trade winds in your sails," as Mr. Twain would say? 

Leaving aside practicalities (one of my favorite things to do), in my dreams Maine is a spray-soaked land of wonder. Frosted and tender in the spring, warm and sunlit in the summer, crisp and saturated with color in the fall, and of course a howling, blizzarding, sparkling place in the winter. And that's pretty neat too.

"Big, white drifts heaped themselves about the little house, and palms of frost covered its windows. The harbour ice grew harder and thicker, until the Four Winds people began their usual winter travelling over it... and night and day the gay tinkle of the sleighbells sounded on it. On moonlit nights Anne heard them in her house of dreams like fairy chimes."


Number 77 on my list of 101 things to do: Go to Maine. If I can't live there, I want to visit. And what better time than our first anniversary next May? I'm just saying...

All of these photos come from Maine's tourism website, and the quotes from one of my all time favorite books, Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery.

The dreams are my own :) 

1 comment:

  1. I'm beginning to think this October is literally cursed. Just minutes after publishing my post, I stumbled upon this charming story:

    "Remains in Maine freezer could be missing woman" <-- It's on MSNBC if you care to learn more

    Oh world! Why, oh why must you keep interfering with my rose-colored vision of, um, everything.