There is a Maine summer place

A hundred years ago, the captains of industry and their families fled the baking pavement and sweltering sun of the nation’s cities to “rusticate” on the coast of Maine.  They sailed. They fished. They swam. They ate wonderful meals prepared by favorite chefs who knew where to obtain the best shellfish and the freshest produce.

Once the secret behind those newly-relaxed selves became known, their wives and children joined in, spending the weekdays playing at the shore, dabbling their toes in ocean waters, joined on the weekends by the collared-and-tied.

Today, families “rusticate” together – spending summer days in the endless variety of welcomed togetherness and much-appreciated individual pursuits (butterfly treks and daring sails on our beached sailboat for the children; a shady place to read, and a nearby golf course). Then they gather, sun-kissed, for dinner, where they share their stories and the newly-rediscovered joys of “eating local” and the bounty of locally fished, farmed and harvested cuisine.

Summer vacation is a blend of delightful contrasts: together and apart, hot sun and cool ocean, experiences excitingly new and comfortably familiar. We’ve all collected the memories of beach, screen doors, fresh cotton on warm skin and leaving dinner in those hours when the lights compete with the twilight of the just-set sun. In the full-featured files of our minds we feel the flat, wet resilience of the shoreline at low-tide. We almost remember how it’s so much cooler on the water than on land. We hear the laugh-pause-SPLASH! coming from the pool.