May 31 – June 13, 2013 Vol. 15, No. 1


Summertime in the Belgrades

May 31 – June 13

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Summer of 2013: It's Good To Be In Maine

A boy blows a BIG bubble on the dock at Castle Island Camps.

by Esther J. Perne

It's good to be in Maine, good to feel the summer unfolding, to watch the patchwork greening of the countryside and bluing of the lakes, to enjoy the homecoming qualities of this unique season and to look forward to the sameness and the saneness of local summertime traditions.

Summer among the lakes and along the waterways, within the communities and throughout the byways is a promise a promise of familiar sights and sounds, of familiar people and places and of renewed opportunities to take part in old and familiar activities and events. It also, so far, is a promise that, in spite of growth and change and the creep of construction outward from Maine's towns and cities, the quality of getaway, of peacefulness, of sanctuary among the lakes, fields and woodlands remains.

A Maine summer, an inland lakes summer, a Belgrades or everywhere-in-the-region summer still means that yes, it is possible to go back back to a place and back to a time where small rewards abound and quality of location is measured in uncomplicated distractions: a V of geese flying north, the call of the loon, warm sunshine flickering through scented pines, the lapping of waves against shore or dock, warm conversations at local gathering places and the community of spectatorship at ball games, parades, concerts, art shows, lawn sales, cookouts, playgrounds and all the many activities and outlets of the area.

In so many ways summer is a return to childhood, to past memories of bare feet and tousled hair when paddles and fish poles were the key to endless adventures; to present echoes of happy childish voices rippling out from discoveries and activities that are fun, safe, secure; and to future visions that the succeeding generations will learn the lore and love the lure of the lakes and of all the natural beauty and attractions of Maine.

Just as summer in this region provides a renewed appreciation of nature, bursting forth in countryside or town, it provides a renewed appreciation of community and of human migration and perseverance.

A grandfather and grandson pick strawberries, with the promise of a sweet reward!

It's good to see the year-round folk emerging from their winter lives, raking, planting, strolling along sidewalks and roadsides. It's good to have the summer folk return home to where for so many their hearts and loyalties lie. And it's good to see the tourists arrive with their dream-come-true appreciation of the region.

It's even good to see the development, the change, the new buildings and intersections and traffic lights which signal more jobs, better health care, more opportunities for economic growth and more really good reasons to ramp up the care of the lakes, the preservation of undeveloped lands and the support of the small business owners in local communities.

Best of all, a Maine summer, a lakes summer, a Belgrades summer doesn't end. Many are the times a special warm summertime memory will surface comfortingly when one is far away in location or life. Many, too, are the memories that prompt those who have passed briefly through this area to return to visit, vacation, invest.

Ah summer! It's good to return to the traditions, to go back to the familiar hopes and haunts, good to relive the memories and make new ones. . . .

It's good to be in Maine.