The first time I loved Maine I was driving down Vassalboro road five long hours from home. The road was stretched out before us like the pan American highway; it was lined with golden fields and farm lands as far as the eye could see. Massive, round bales of hay dotted the country side like pieces on a chess board. I had never seen hay like that wrapped up in giant rolls waiting to be spun into Gold. It was beautiful, full of order and hard work. My heart was sunk with images of wide-open spaces and immense country side. I would never recover. We were staying on a lake in china. My first-born child was small enough for diapers when he explored the water’s edge with his tiny toes. I remember every inch of that place; the little cottages, the game room, the short gravel road leading down to the shore, the screened in porch where we made puzzles and ate meals, the green canoe that slipped quietly through the water. I don’t remember the conversations; I don’t remember the interactions or if there were any meaningful connections, I only remember the landscape, the sloping hills, the misty mornings when the fog lifted lazily from the water, the tall pines that protected us like an army of soldiers. The stillness of that place serenaded me. This was the country which captivated my soul for the first time on that long road dotted with golden bails of dried hay. This was the place I knew I loved because I cried when I saw it.

I forgot and remembered many times since then how much I needed that country. Each year when we visited Maine I would quickly and easily fall in love again and die a little when we had to say goodbye. I wanted a home there, that was all the desire I could muster between visits. There was still so much about that dream I couldn’t define. The heart knows its own felt needs, but niene how to meet them. I wanted to re-live that moment when I was looking out into that field when the sun was setting and casting a golden song on my heart, I wanted to wake up in the morning and see the mist rising from a well-polished mirror thousands of acres wide and 90 feet deep, threatening a place of flawless rest for my weary self. I wanted the slowness of life that haunted me when I returned from Maine. I never stopped visiting I never stopped looking I never stopped hoping. A lot of years have passed and a lot of life has been mulled over and a lot of prayers uttered. I watched over the years as one by one my family members moved to Maine. First my mother found a house on Harrison road across the street from a field where deer gather at the edge of the tree line at dusk and forage. Then my eldest sister bought her first home in bethel where deep blue mountains sprinkled with the orange glow of autumn loom above every house like sleeping giants. Finally my middle sister found her house on Wiley road where she is planning her vineyard and harvesting dreams. One by one I have watched them step into the soil of their dreams and sink in, returning like monarchs to the land where our grandmother was raised and our mother grew to love summers on the lake. They found their homes in Maine, they found their golden lands and laid hold of their great bales of hay. But for me a dream but emerged, vague and partially hidden, somehow inexplicably distant, unreachable and unformed like the substance of a child growing so close within its mother’s womb yet so indescribable and unknown and unheld.

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