All of us can bear in mind the house we grew up in and what life was like. Be it a big metropolis or within the rural countryside, the phrase residence at all times evokes a particular feeling. The life we finally make is formed by our recollections of that place. And in motion pictures, books and track there are these distinctive reminders of residence: the jubilant shouts of George Bailey on the finish of “It’s a Fantastic Life” or the bejeweled heel faucets of Dorothy whispering, “there is no such thing as a place like residence” in “The Wizard of Oz.”
However when house is in a small city, I imagine there may be an essence that makes it much more particular than anyplace else. It’s an essence that if maintained, nurtured and appreciated will at all times beckon one to both go to or return residence. However, as soon as that essence is modified, infringed upon by a surreal grandness that transforms it into one thing not recognizable, it’s modified without end. There isn’t a going again.
I used to be raised on the south aspect of Allentown, Pennsylvania. It’s an entire lot greater now than it was again then or since Billy Joel sang about it. To a small boy, it was a giant place. And over time, as I grew up, that place acquired greater, however not even shut to higher: extra folks, extra stuff, extra visitors and extra complications.
My spouse and I ultimately moved to a small city on the foothills of the Pocono Mountains. There we might increase our household. Although solely a 35-minute drive from the town, the change was dramatic. With its diagonal parking on Essential Road, the small faculties, owner-operated retailers and a middle inexperienced with a basic bandstand gazebo, it wasn’t Mayberry — however it certain felt prefer it.
Now dwelling Down East, we are able to drive in any route and the small cities quietly invite us in. The retailers and providers appear to all meld collectively, miraculously showing when one is required, similar to fuel, meals or relaxation, and the companies work collectively relatively than in competitors. If one store doesn’t have what a buyer wants, an worker would possibly recommend one other place that may assist.
Machiasport is the second small city we now name residence. Composed of 4 villages: Bucks Harbor, Larrabee, the East Facet and Starboard, the place we reside, the world is punctuated with islands, shoreline and bluffs overlooking among the most lovely surroundings Down East has to supply. Machiasport is a spot of fishermen and clammers. With no important providers accessible, the drive to Machias is usually taken out of necessity, however the surroundings and folks dwelling right here simply make up for that inconvenience.
By no means have I been someplace the place the essence of household and neighborhood is so overwhelming. Why is that this? I reply it this solution to buddies again in Pennsylvania. “We’re in the course of nowhere, and all we now have is one another.” Now, that’s an exaggeration however not an excessive amount of of 1. There may be at all times the gap to take care of for important providers, and the planning that goes into the best of drives into city is a bit more concerned than a visit to the grocery store. However these inconveniences are simply forgotten when the folks right here share of themselves and are at all times prepared to assist — a giant facet of that Down East essence. Typically letting a spot merely, “simply be” is sufficient and in the long run shall be what folks from away, identical to our household, shall be drawn to.
Think about a spot the place the essence of residence pervades the land, the air and is at all times current within the smiles and attitudes of the locals. Think about pristine coastlines, coves and hamlets the place time actually stands nonetheless. Think about an evening sky that speaks again if you search for, and picture a spot the place your kids and their kids will return and have the ability to say: “That is residence simply the way in which I remembered it.”
Life right here is difficult and also you at all times are usually making ready for one thing. Name it the calm-before-the-storm feeling. It pervades the world, however that’s OK; we all know we now have buddies and neighbors right here that can assist if wanted. There isn’t a George Bailey or Dorothy right here, however there are many hand waves, smiles and, after all, the Down East-dipped salutation, “Nicely, hello there, deeah” to make anybody really feel that they’ve arrived residence.