As one other Fourth of July approaches, it feels a bit of further particular given our sluggish climb out of a pandemic.
The cautious thought and preparation that goes into this celebration and others all year long in lots of Down East cities reveals a sure essence each of native individuals and of coastal Maine.
Independence Day celebrations are plentiful and as assorted because the panorama throughout this nice nation. Given at present’s political uncertainties, fast-paced information tales, tweets and a perceived normal uneasiness with all of it, I stay up for slowing down a bit to participate in a celebration with individuals seeking to benefit from the second in a protected, generally historic, and all the time inviting place.
When this time of 12 months rolls round, I take into consideration the primary time I used to be requested to snap a number of images of the beloved lobster crate races in Cutler. Being from Pennsylvania and on the time considerably new to life Down East, I had no thought what a lobster crate race was all about. In my thoughts I pictured one thing like soapbox derby: swiftly designed carts with wheels, common from outdated wood lobster crates, sitting on a hill with youngsters in them ready for gravity to take maintain.
So there I used to be, pulling into Cutler with out a hill to be seen or a cluster of children in carts to be discovered. However as I drove into the central village, I noticed individuals gathered at two piers. They had been connecting wood packing containers along with rope creating a protracted line of crates within the water.
I ended and watched as individuals helped one another slowly pull the crates throughout the harbor from one pier to the opposite. I known as down from the highest of the pier, “Why is that this being executed?” An older man regarded up and I may see his eyes smile underneath the brim of a salt-crusted hat, “It’s all for the children,” the person says. “Younger and outdated run throughout these packing containers within the spirit of enjoyable, it’s what we do on days like this, and we’ve been doing it a very long time. It by no means will get outdated and I believe all of this, at present, retains us younger.”
A short time later, as I watched individuals run throughout, every crate sinking one after the opposite as their toes plunged down, I assumed to myself: perhaps these crates are like life. Everybody taking part is making an attempt to catch a bit of their childhood, or maybe, making an attempt to carry on just a bit bit longer. Regardless of the rationale, the exercise, the grins and laughter, the good-natured silliness crammed the air. And for only a second it appeared that for everybody there, life’s uncertainties had been forgotten and positioned apart, if ever so briefly.
And I felt the essence of why this place is so particular. Folks coming collectively 12 months after 12 months, doing one thing collectively, one thing they like to do, in reminiscence of each time and place. It’s a feeling that’s rejuvenating and thrilling all on the similar time as a result of it’s a shared expertise.
This sense is simply palpable when you search for it. Down East cities, equivalent to Cutler on today, take up moments like these and provides them again, 12 months after 12 months, to these on the lookout for them. Typically they’re there within the eyes of an outdated man stringing crates collectively or within the laughter of a small little one watching an older brother or sister run the crates, within the splash of somebody falling within the water, within the laughs that rapidly observe on land and on sea. The essence of a spot is actual, and it’s made extra so, if one takes the time to look, hear and luxuriate in.
So, when everyone seems to be out celebrating the birthday of our nation with fireworks, barbecue, parades and patriotic salutes, I’ll smile figuring out I can sit on a pier Down East and watch younger and outdated run throughout lobster crates floating in water, making an attempt their hardest to remain dry or just be younger once more, figuring out the actual prize is one thing a lot larger than all of us. It’s the freedom to have the ability to take time, come collectively, snigger, make reminiscences and, in the long run, say thanks.