Evergreen Cemetery, Portland

“Maine means something to people…

Maine signifies survival, hard work, and authenticity.

Living in Maine means you’re willing to suffer through harsh winters.”

Katy Kelleher in “Handcrafted Maine – Art, Life, Harvest & Home”

“Harsh winters?”

Maine saw two back-to-back nor’easters in two weeks in March. Eighteen inches of snow fell in each storm. We hear there will be a third storm this month; the Farmer’s Almanac even predicted four for us.

We’ve spent some quality time inside – working remotely when our offices were closed, playing Scrabble with our new wooden L. L. Bean board from Christmas, read, cooked, watched Netflix.

But now, I grab my backwoods plaid muffler. Black winter jacket.

My favorite cloche hat.

My cozy, thickly lined snow boots, new last season from Reny’s downtown.

Homemade fleece mittens, gray and red, a favorite gift from a close friend, whose colleague made them. Toasty warm.

Gentle snowflakes today between storms. Trees still heavy with snow.

Gotta get out into it.

It’s a gray day in Evergreen Cemetery. A favorite day for me because it means I’m a solitary walker along the curving roads under barren and gnarly winter trees.

The sky is gray. The clouds and tombstones and trees are gray. The pond at the back is gray.

It’s perfectly quiet.

And still, save for the padding of my boots on newly fallen snow.

I pause. Say nothing.

Look right to left, slowly taking it all in.

My mind is calm, settled.

Albert Einstein says knowing nature helps you to know everything. I think he is right.

There’s something about a gentle snowfall that makes the whole world seem more serene.

Gentle.

Quiet.

Subdued.

He would be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly, says John Denver. He would be a poorer man who doesn’t see nature, experience nature, pause and observe the wonder that is all around him.

I am richly satisfied in having the opportunity, within a few miles of my home, to escape to this serene oasis….in the March snow, the near-end of winter. Maybe a final time of the season before spring arrives in the north.

Who needs a spa?

Evergreen Cemetery is my spa.