it struck me as odd, but strangely inate. for some reason, the cliffs of maine felt familiar, as if i'd walked them years ago, on some dreary winter morning with my boots on and hair pulled back. and as we passed the little cottages on the path down to the water, i thought about, seemed to remember, a life lived on the shore. i think it's in my bones, this being close to the ocean. like some old forgotten song settled into my blood, turning on and playing louder with each step of my moccasins on the damp soil.
our morning in maine was a sleepy one. it was quiet on the island. one of those cold, bright, clear, sunny days when autumn shows off a bit. we ate breakfast beside a warm window in the general store. thought about the near end to our trip, and all the miles stamped on us. our GPS. our soles and souls.
but what the morning lacked in noise and color, we found a few hours away. at a little county fair on the state border. on a whim, we followed a handmade sign off the highway. into the front yard of an elderly couple we did not know, who allowed us to park there. the ones with children in north carolina, who lit up at a chance to talk about them. who we stood around and talked to long after the fair had lost its appeal and the sun was setting.
we ate whoopie pies. examined prize pigs, chickens, and roses. handmade quilts and honey. horse shows by the track. we missed our hometown fair, and found the next best thing in this nugget of spontaneity, beneath the ferris wheel and big top.
i remember a park in albuquerque. standing beside the lake at closing time. watching the swing set sway as evening rustled the leaves around. i had felt it then, this déjà vu. of not wanting to leave for fear of losing it.
we left maine, but i felt it in vermont too. forgetting myself and blending. in all of the north, really. except when i asked for sweet tea, then i remembered.