I’ve recently started, when I have time, taking long road trips on a weekend day to parts of the state I haven’t been to in a while, or ever.
My trip a couple weekends ago was to semi-familiar territory: the peninsula that’s home to Cushing. I hadn’t intended to go there. I went to Unity for a specific reason, then, because it was a nice Saturday, just kept driving.
My initial target was Friendship. Very cute, no parking if you want to get out of the car and take a photo of the harbor, even in mid-May. Chalk one up to the working waterfront.
I’ve been wanting for a long time to see the Langlais Sculpture Preserve in Cushing, so I hied out of Friendship to the other side of the peninsula. I figured I’d just drive and see if I stumbled onto the Langlais site.
And I did.
But first, I saw a sign for the Olson House, and since I’d never been there before, I did a sandy road hairpin skid turn, and headed down there first. [If Mom’s reading — no I didn’t. That’s just for dramatic effect.] [Readers, I really did, though, since it was: see sign, process info, decide to go that way all at 60 mph on a little country road.] [Mom, 35, tops] [Readers, ;)]
For those of you not familiar with the Olson House, it’s the scene “Christina’s World,” the painting that made Andrew Wyeth famous. It’s now owned by the Farnsworth Museum, in Rockland.
It was a beautiful mid-May Saturday late afternoon evening and no one — I mean no one — was there. I took a walk down to the cemetery and to the island that’s walkable at low tide, which it was.
It was an afternoon and evening of beautiful light, emerging spring, the smell of hay and low tide. I’m glad I kept driving after my Unity visit.
Does any of this have anything to do with writing? I think you know the answer. If you’re going to imagine that fictional place, the more you have the sights and smells of the real place in you, the better. Bigger picture — there are few things more relaxing, engaging and satisfying than cruising around Maine’s two-lanes, smelling hay, cows, low tide, apple blossoms and the breeze.
Here are some photos. But seriously, don’t rely on my camera, go yourself!