In 2008 I traveled to Maine and Boston to visit my best friend from college. She and I have traveled to several different locations throughout our years of friendship, including Colorado in August 2010 and a road trip from St. Simons Island, Ga., to New Orleans during Spring Break in either 2001 or 2002.
It doesn’t seem to matter where we go, we have a good time. This trip was no different. It was the first time I have ever been to New England, and it was the first time visiting her home state. She’s from Maine. I was born in Florida and have lived the rest of my life rotating between my home state, South Carolina and Georgia.
The photo of this day at this Lighthouse (one of two we visited) is particularly poignant because I remember the smell of the air, heavy with salt from the Atlantic, which could be easily accessed but painfully obtained if you wanted to take a running leap off the right side of these flowers into the air and drop about 20 feet to rocks below. The sound of the crashing water on the rocks and the reverse sucking back into itself was something I’ve never heard before. In the South, the Atlantic meets the shore with sand, grey and heavy like in South Carolina and Georgia and white, clean and sparkling in Florida. In Maine, the earth varies from boulders jutting out of the water with the rutted water routes carved into their sides likely made at the same time of the continuous sucking sound to small, cold grey and white pebbles that are like a mini-massage to bare feet.
It was the middle of summer, Queen Anne’s Lace and Goldenrod were in their heyday and I was in my own state of bloom: peace permeated. I was without a care, without an agenda, without a deadline. We walked the cliff trail around the grounds, stood in the gap between the lighthouse and the light tower as the wind whistled through and pulled at our clothing with the same force as if we were sticking our heads out the window of a car going about 45 mph down the road. Cold, crisp air, not the soggy, stifling summer air of an average August day in the South.
I’m thankful for these memories, and thankful for amazing friends to share them with.