I’ve been in transition these past few weeks, moving from the US Virgin Islands back to Maine. It’s quite a jarring change, reacquainting myself with black flies, cold rain and frigid east winds. I miss my afternoon walks by Leinster Bay, and the warm volcanic rock where I sat to digest my day as the sun went down behind Mary’s Point. In seven years, I never did catch the ephemeral green flash.
I’m focusing on the chill night sky now, the big dipper hanging low in the north-west, filling my bedroom window. I feel certain that one of these nights I’m going to hear the great horned owl, and see the sky illuminated by the Northern Lights again.
It’s the glass that bothers me. This separation between the indoors and out. I’ve grown accustomed to living with all my windows and doors open day and night, with no sense of separation. This is hardly possible in Maine. I feel like I may suffocate at any moment.
This move back to a place I lived for over twenty years is forcing me to reevaluate my own expectations, my needs and desires. Until I moved to the amenable climate of the Caribbean, I took struggle to survive for granted, closed doors and windows never bothered me.
I grew up in the Northeast. You could freeze to death or starve in winter if you weren’t careful, didn’t plan ahead. Like a squirrel, I put up firewood a year in advance, stocked the freezer. So much more. On St. John, I lived in the day, except during Hurricane Season, when an eye was held to the forecast.
I’ve unintentionally opened myself to a whole new theme for personal essay. I am embracing that. One day, perhaps, I’ll even turn the thermostat here to something lower than 72—when my blood thickens again.