It’s a really brief return, though. In fact, just long enough to change planes – my mom, my dad, and I are headed back from Maine. The sunset outside their window is extraordinary:
(Note: it looks better in person.)
Anyway, the bro and the sis are off at school. College campuses are definitely a trip, especially in the years immediately after graduation. They look really familiar, but it’s a completely different world than the one you now live in. You look at the students, and you know what kind of thoughts they’re thinking. They echo in your head, because they’re the same ones you remember thinking yourself, years ago, when it was your turn to walk that campus.
(Undergrad are the years when you still think you’re brilliant. I won’t be the one to burst their bubble.)
The brother (a.k.a. the freshman) told us in kind yet not uncertain terms that we were overstaying our welcome. He was ready to start the business of making new friends. We said goodbye.
Then, we went to the beach. This is why I love my parents (one of many reasons). It was their idea. Stuck in Coastal Maine with several hours to kill before our flight home? Let’s go to the beach! Why not?
We went to Popham Beach. The coastline is primarily rocky. So, there aren’t many sandy beaches in Maine, and this one’s popular. Especially with endangered piping plovers.
(I’ve actually been to this beach before, on a science field trip during Maine Coast Semester several million years ago, ie. in high school. We saw piping plover nests, and we sketched the wild roses in bloom on the dunes.
That’s right. The science classes were kind of intense: we were required to go on field trips twice a month and do art. I’ve never been terrific at ecology or biology, but some of it stuck: all weekend, whenever I recognized a plant, I would announce its name like a revelation: “Silver Birch!” “Stag-horned sumac!” “Something that starts with a C! (It likes saltwater!)”)
We waited for traffic to clear on the path to the beach and then stumbled down to the water.
My mom said, “Nothing says “tourist” like long pants and a camera.” (Yes, I had both. Fully visible.)
Maine is beautiful. If it weren’t for the cold, I could live there.
Next adventure - Unpacking. (There are 20 boxes. It'll be epic. Wait till you see those pictures.)