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During my first summer at Nixie’s Vale, a small cottage in the lakes region of southern Maine, I hardly cared that it rained for two months. 

Rains enlivened the trees in a seep I nicknamed, “Fern Gully,” which looked and sounded like a lush rainforest—flooded with bird song and drizzled with a syrupy-sweet odor of moss and a black ash swamp that soaked up all the rains and kept my basement dry. I sprawled on a futon in my living room, feeling the slight breeze of a spinning fan high above me on a Cathedral ceiling, and peered out five windows, an almost panoramic view of my new backyard. It poured. I didn’t realize that my new town attracted more thunderstorms because of the high levels of radon in the granite here—after all, I grew up in Maine, a state with a lot of granite, and never in my life had I experienced this frequency and intensity of lightning. I told my friends I’d moved to “Thunder Town” and that it was a “good thing I liked thunderstorms.”

The cats hid under the bed for the eight weeks of loud crashes and booms, flashes and downpour. I felt happy—no, I felt elated, for the first time in a very long time, like a ridiculously giddy couple of newlyweds on their honeymoon in Acadia National Park, where I’d worked as a park ranger and seen plenty of newlyweds. Those who laughed at the rain and swept themselves away to hike and swim and play and kiss despite the unpredictable weather, I sensed their permanence, their solidity. Those whose faces betrayed their utter disappointment at the fog pressing Cadillac Mountain the one afternoon they drove up to see the view, well, I didn’t have high hopes for them as a couple. Here I was four hours from Acadia and Mount Desert Island, where I had lived for eight years, and although I missed the ocean and beach rose and the national park and my friends, I felt a release of that same kind of stupid bliss I saw in those newlyweds who didn’t mind the damp weather, who didn’t mind getting stuck in a storm on their honeymoon. I wasn’t a newlywed at all but I did feel that burgeoning sense of a new start. I felt triumphant and ready for this commitment to myself, to a property, to doing it by myself—not waiting for someone to sweep me off, umbrella or no umbrella, and weather the storm with me. 

Leah

Poet. Artist. Ecoheroine. Human ecologist. Spiritual mermaid and Mystic. I write about literary ecology, wetlands, water, Romantic ecology, and quirky adventures with my dog.

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