Never before have I read a book that so effortlessly paints an accurate picture of the character of the state of Maine and her people. I probably should have waited until I finished reading the book to start discussing it, but a certain paragraph stirred my core this morning. You know what I’m talking about…when words jump off the page and connect with something deep inside, and gets you all riled up? Louise Dickinson Rich’s State O’Maine has done just that for me several times.
A couple of months ago, (yes, I take a ridiculous amount of time reading a book. I get distracted with one book and start reading 4 other ones at the same time.), this paragraph in chapter 2 jumped out at me.
An explanation for the Maine character of today–self-sufficient, sometimes touchy and opinionated, and always independent–can be traced in some measure to this nucleus of first settlers. The odd-ones-out, the lone wolves, the tough and dogged noncomformists and eccentrics were selected by circumstance for the original peopling of the land, which nurtured rather than corrected, through its very nature, a heritage of inborn orneriness.
Today, it was the last paragraph of chapter eight….
So she remains a state a little out of step with the rest of the world and a little at war with herself. Her geographic position, her climate and terrain, the nature of her industries and the character of her people make this inevitable. Her clinging to the old way of doing things, to the old viewpoints and values, is neither sentimental nonsense, stubbornness nor simple nostalgia for the past, as it might be in other regions or societies. In Maine, the old way often remains the only possible way, and who is to say whether this is a shackle or a salvation?
So accurate, and just a few of the reasons why I love my state!
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of her books.