i am an only child. At 60 years old i still wonder how that has shaped my life. I think about that today because in our travels we have now moved to a really popular tourist spot on the Maine coast, Old Orchard Beach(OOB).
Just a few blocks from our campground are the beaches and the amusement park. What a change from the last few weeks of wooded state parks and large open spaces. Here, I can walk a few minutes to all manner of vendors hawking beer and corn dogs and bad t-shirts. It’s Maine, so there is seafood to be had too, but I’m leery. The last seafood I ate was i n a small blue collar waterfront town and I could see the boat that brought me my dinner. The restaurants here in OOB feel impersonal, disconnected from the labor of the catch and the bounty of the sea outside the windows.
I decided to go see the beach early in the morning and it’s very pleasant. The revelers of last night are gone, and I’m in the company of a few folks who appreciate the whooosh of the ocean at sunrise unaccompanied by 70’s cover bands or merry-go-round music.
My favorite places on this trip have been the peaceful ones. Especially a foggy day at Marshall Point lighthouse. I think we spent 3 hours there; we just couldn’t bring ourselves to leave. We listened to the rumble of a fishing boat just out of sight in the mist working a lobster trap line. The fog was thick and the light shone like a portable sun trapped in the Fresnel lens. I found myself wishing I was out on the boat hauling lines and emptying traps on the deck. Life is hard for lobster-men, it’s a dumb wish, but then again I am an unapologetic romantic. I think it would be an honest use of my hands and back, at least until it gave me an equally honest back ache.