Tuesday, March 3, 2015

remember when

the five of us, in shadow form

Ah.  With an end to the sickness that we all have cycled through at one point or another during the past few weeks, and with the changing light as Spring gets closer, we ventured out into the fresh air.  And the light.

We headed to one of our favorite places, a place we found here just after moving to Maine 9 years ago: Pineland Farms, in New Gloucester, Maine.  We ski here many weekends.  We sled here, we swim and bowl here.  We have had several birthday parties here and attended many more.   I shop here.  It is a place that is familiar and comfortable and which holds many remember whens for each of us.  

And so, having been a somewhat shut inside for the past few weeks, as we drove onto the campus it was a bit like returning to our old selves, parking and pulling the sleds out of the back of our car.  

Remember when there used to be a gate here? And you had to ask for the code at the main desk to get in?

We noticed again the smell of cow and, given that we were parked in front of the creamery, noticed a powerful smell of cheese.  

Remember that time last year when we were skiing and the wind was blowing so hard that we couldn't move forward, so we skied to the creamery and went inside and took our boots off and put our feet on the heaters?

Senses of humor had returned.  Every once is awhile a blast of warm air blew from the vents in the outside walls of the creamery, the source of the strong cheesy odor now revealing itself.   It seemed a bit like the periodic surfacing of some unseen dairy whale and got us all giggling.  And it was hard to miss the effects of the warm sun hitting the deep snows on the roof.

We were reminded for those a bit grumpy and for those with low energy levels, sometimes a return to an old favorite is just what everyone needs.  And that here in Maine, after a very formidable and memorable winter, this is how you celebrate the changing light as Spring approaches.

Remember that time when I hit that jump and ended up skittering all the way across that field?

You make a movie to send along to friends and family who have been here with you on other days, in other years.  And you take a picture of the movie making.  And the light captures you as well.

Can you give me a ride?  

Nope.  Out.

And soon, parkas are off.  Arms are spread wide.  Fresh air is going in.  Cheeks are pink again.  And everyone else has gone home for the day.  And you have the hill to yourself.

Remember how we used to come here to visit their chickens and collect their eggs, before we had chickens of our own?

You see who can get to the top first.

It is a very big hill.  

You explore other runs.

And soon, the light starts to shift. Lower.  And the shadows lengthen.

The last run of the day is in full shadow.

Which doesn't stop someone from wanting just one more.

Remember that time we sledded here for so long that no one else was here any more? And the sun went down before we left?  That was awesome.

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