I am taking off my writer’s hat.
Last week there was a horrific event in Paris that shook the world. As reports came in, people reacted in various ways. At first I felt numb. After, I felt angry at myself for not feeling empathy right away. Something my husband says I have a lot of. Maybe because we are so used to violence in the streets, in the world, in the news and newspapers that we get desensitized to what is going on. It wasn’t until the day after, on Saturday, that I wept for the victims, their friends and families and the country of France. The death toll had risen quite a bit since the night before and there were a chance it could continue to do so.
In 1981 a group of us from my high school, with chaperones like my mother, went to France . We were from Northern Maine where our heritage, our culture is so tightly ingrained in our French bloodline. We speak it, read it and pass it on down. Well most of us do. France and Canada are part of us, it is where we are from.
So those two countries have always been near and dear to us. Visiting the capital of Paris was overwhelming, exciting and an adventure I will never forget. Visiting the Louvre, Notre Dame and Monte St. Michel are memories still packed in my brain cells. The people were friendly, open and willing to help us if we needed it.
After 9/11 this was a picture that came out of France. They were staying with us, next to us, together. One of our best allies we have ever had. So to see what they have endured over the last 10 months was heart breaking. And even if all I can do is weep for them, if all I can do is offer my prayers to them, we are one in spirit.
In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine
Can’t you just feel the moonshine
Ain’t it just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind
Yes I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind
These are the opening words to the song “Carolina In My Mind” by James Taylor. It’s a song I play often. But this week in my mind and in my physical being I’m going to Maine. I’ll be making a short visit to see my mom to see how she is doing and all. I worry about her.
There are a lot of great things to love about the South.
1. collard greens-When I first tried them I was a happy woman I mean oh my gosh.
2. sweet ice tea- Up North I was raised on hot tea which I still love. But a nice cold glass of ice sweet tea is glorious.
3. pecan pie-This is the nectar of the South.
4. inlaws- My inlaws are near me and I do adore them dearly.
However there are great things to enjoy in the North if you have never visited. And I am not talking about New England but rather Northern Maine where you can see the borders of Canada.
Here it’s a slow pace of life. The scenery is so beautiful all you want to do is stare at it. We have moose running around feeling they own the place and in most cases they do. We have fiddleheads, boudin, and blueberries galore one of the many products of my state. Let us not forget Maine lobster that will make your mouth sing. We have valleys, mountains and a bison herd to go with it. You have my French heritage that is unlike anything I have seen since I left my county of Aroostook. It’s like Cheers where every one knowns your name. If they don’t they soon will when you’re ask which family you belong to. We still have the beautiful church that reaches for the sky. We also have the cemetery where my father is buried and who I visit every time I go up.
Maine is a beautiful place. In my mind I go there as often as I can. But this week I’ll be going up for two weeks. I’ll get to enjoy the times that I’ve played over in my mind but playing them out for real. In my mind I’m going to Maine just this time around it will be a reality.
See you when I get back.