Posted in Journal
My first March in Maine.
We purchased an old sheep farm last year, after a four year long search. When I finally arrived in January 2021, It felt like a smack in the face. I was worn out, defeated by the pandemics insane and stressful course and uncertainty. But none the less, here I stood on our new land, a dream come true. As I walked through the forests and fields for the first time, I witnessed the raw and fierce beauty standing confidently all around me and the tall trees, whispering “who do you think you are?”
And that’s what I am here to find out.
The land is beautiful, rugged, fierce and wild. We are planning to put it all into land conservation. Setting up a home in the existing old hand built Cape, has probably been the most challenging thing in a long time. Just wood stoves, and plenty of time as things move at their own pace here in the wilderness during the winter. All the city amenities stripped away, most businesses are closed and seasonal, and there isn’t one convenience in a 30-mile radius. It’s just you, the land, Mother Nature, and the kindest neighbors you could imagine.
Nothing about this is familiar but somewhere deep inside I feel connected to it all. When you realize you are out of your comfort zone and everything you thought you knew wasn’t enough, change becomes possible.
The cottage on our land was hand-built and still strong. Its cedar shingle roof is covered in moss but dry underneath: plaster walls and wood beams, and low ceilings clad in heart pine. The house is on wood stove heating, and that was the first real challenge to manage the stoves to keep the heat going amid some harsh weather and mud that surrounded the house. In March and April, it still drops below 30 degrees more or less.
The first couple of weeks, I second-guessed every choice I had made in my life, including this one. I was exhausted three weeks in and ready to give up. We haven’t moved our personals up here yet, so the cottage is empty except for a few pieces I have placed in our kitchen. But the loneliness has started to set in, missing my family and now approaching two months apart. I came with a plan, literally on paper, like an architect, which mostly involved a massive planting of cut flowers, which the land is not ready for yet. It has been put aside because the raw beauty here is undeniable. I think this place deserves to remain as natural as possible. I will plant flowers, but I am not sure this will turn into a flower farm, but rather a place of beauty. We are restoring its overgrown fields to meadows, and that process will take a couple years and has only just begun.
So I return to the kitchen, a place where I am the most comfortable. Had an idea for an apple cake. I burnt the apples slightly for color and texture. It is very moist and perfectly sweet with apple. So delish..
Look at those colors, just as rich as the flavor.