Maine. There is much to love here. We were brought to this far northeast corner of the country mostly by the pull of people. Josh’s parents were born and raised here. His family tree stretches back along the farm country roads in this furthest county to the north, where driving through golden fields and rows of potato crops, a house here and there and everywhere holds some sort of history of some grandparent or family member who lived there, was born there, owned that land, grew up in that house.
And there are friends, of the sort that you raised your family with and are now like family. Friends who have you to stay at their coastal home and dote on your kids and your grandkids with kayaks and four-wheelers and games of frisbee golf and take you down to pick up fresh lobster at the docks and let you drink your coffee on the point that overlooks the bay.
There are family gatherings, and for myself and the kids— this is all new territory. These are people we’ve never met and have only known faintly by stories that have been shared, but are now seeing in the flesh. It is beautiful country, and weighted with old bones, the scaffolding of a family whose spirit has enfleshed this area for decades. Gathering with the family is like dipping our toes into the cool, clear lakes nestled to the north: the waters run deep and surround us in welcome, but we are just skimming the surface.
It’s hard not to dream of coming back here. Somehow, in some way. We travel the world and set our roots in places that are transient, that we will never be buried in, and there is something about knowing these property lines have lined the faces of family for generations that make you wonder if you should wander your way back here someday. Josh’s parents have been looking at houses, old fixer uppers with sunken roofs and peeling old porches that raise your renovation radar and send you dreaming. And it’s easy to dream with them. They will retire here soon, coming back the place of their birth as they settle into their final years. And we will move on in a few days on our bus.
Spending time with those we love and the places that they have loved can tweak at our feelings of home a bit. It drives us back to Who and what led us to the place we are and what keeps us there. To know and trust that God leads us and that His ways are winding but sure-footed pulls us back from doubting our way, or feeling we have to always be on the lookout for improving our situation. To know and believe that “the lines for me have fallen in pleasant places” is to accept that truth and live into it whether the lines are the crowded city streets in China, or the winding country roads of northern Maine.
For now, the lines we’ve been given are a 250 square foot rectangle on wheels, leading us on to the next good story somewhere on down the road.