Fall has arrived in Maine after fits and starts and some unusually warm temperature. Almost overnight, though, the trees caught fire with color and the undertone in the air is that crisp, sharp cold that makes everything seem clearer.
Driving home yesterday, I could smell the Atlantic as I passed, my windows down, the air warm enough to tolerate but just cold enough to notice the change of seasons. The ocean has a particular smell in the fall, in the colder air. In the summer, in the heat, the ocean clings, it feels heavy and makes you want to settle, to amble in idleness. The fall is different.
The smell of the ocean in the fall is alive with an energy that seems to charge to shore like an eager child in the cool breezes and I smile without thought. I smiled the entire way home and despite a long day, I felt an energy that even a few weeks earlier I would not have felt.
Ever since Robin Williams jumped onto a table and started shouting, it has become trite, a cliché, to say, carpe diem; seize the day. And yet, Hollywood as it sounds, there are moments when the advice still rings true. I can see the Union River Bay alongside the road as I drive home. If I continue by my house, a couple miles further down the road is the bridge onto Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park.
I’m surrounded by ocean and hardly ever do I take advantage. It’s there. I know that I can stop anytime, and yet, I hardly ever do because I’m busy, I have projects, I have responsibilities. Life gets in the way.
Then, like yesterday, I am reminded of what I love about Maine, what I live near and I smell the ocean breeze and I smile.