So, in anticipation of our upcoming move to the Marshall Point light keeper’s house I have been meditating on the place of home. And specifically, how our concept of home is reflected in the places we live and the people we love. To that point, Linda and I have both commented lately how we sense a definite grace for this place.
For the uninitiated, Maine is not necessarily a picnic of a place to call home, particularly in the dead of winter, which is thankfully fading for us. Yet even though we are both Southerners by birth, we have adopted this northernmost New England state as our own. And much of it has to do with the natural beauty reflected in its rugged coastline and reclusive coves, like the one to which we are moving.
As Steve Thomas, the former host of This Old House and current Port Clyde (home of Marshall Point) resident, has said, “Maine still has a sense of place that is long gone from the rest of the United States. There’s a sense of community, that we’re all in this together…Mainers don’t care what kind of car you drive, what you do for a living, or how much money you make…That kind of egalitarianism is pretty unusual.”
And renowned photographer and Rockport (where we currently live) resident Peter Ralston writes in his book Sightings: A Maine Coast Odyssey:“In the communities out there I had found a haven where I was inexplicably but utterly at home. I had found my querencia, the place that triggers an instinctive sense of belonging…Here, along Maine’s coast, I recovered my reverence for the silence of absence and the life and soul of ‘place.’”
Longtime readers will recall that the journey to our own home place here began with our willingness to radically limit our large library of more than a thousand books so as to live and travel more freely and lightly. So, I loved coming across this insightful quote by Cyril Connolly the other day: “A book collector is like a lighthouse keeper who offers sanctuary to buffeted and exhausted migrants as they home towards the friendly beam.” Suffice it to say that the trade-off of our beloved library for a lighthouse abode has been more than worth it.