In the early spring when I was a kid, my parents would take my brother and I for a walk on an old abandoned woods road behind Pumpkin Ridge in Marshfield. Clouds covered the skies and a foggy mist floated in the air while tiny streams of melted snow and ice trickled down worn grooves on the gravel path. Wet dirt and raw ground released that fresh earthy smell, taking their first few breaths after being freed from suffocating blankets of ice and snow.
My favorite part, a mile or so down the road, when we came to a couple of old cellar holes belonging to houses that caved in a long ago. Each year we visited, they seemed to have sunk a little further down, as if slowly being swallowed by the earth. The leaf covered ground was scattered with piles of glass medicine bottles and rusty square headed nails. The woods road, and the abandoned homesteads were perfect subjects for my imagination, leaving me with a desire to explore and a sense of adventure.
It’s snowing right now in the North Woods so we won’t be doing any puddle jumping today, but every other day this week the boys and I have taken little walks on the Realty Road. We don’t get very far with two sets of little legs and so many puddles to jump in. North Maine Wood’s Facebook page made the announcement last week that trucking would be halted until further notice, making the road our playground for a while.
While mud and puddles are a nuisance for most, this is not the case for the Ackley boys. All I can say is thank heavens for rain suits and boots. I hope they will remember this time, but if they don’t, we will have pictures to share.
Spring is an in between season, a transition that most Mainers at some point, have wished they could skip all together. Messy and decieving, long and drawn out, Maine’s spring takes us through a seesaw effect of unusual weather patterns. After a long winter under heavy layers of ice and snow, the landscape is drab and droopy with shades of gray and brown. Standing among the neutral backdrop, the bright purple, white, green, and yellow hues of budding trees and blooming crocuses and daffodils are intensified tenfold.
Take advantage of the longer, warmer days and get outside to soak up the new life all around you. Every spring gives us an opportunity to do just that. Even though ours is a little more gradual than other states, it’s still magical and twice as fascinating when viewed through the eyes of a child.