Portland of the east was beautiful with it’s cobblestone streets, old brick storefronts with tall window panes and the sea breeze that was rolling off the harbor into the “city” streets. Although it was misty and gray people were bustling about in the surprisingly warm fall air. Most of the store fronts were locally owned and we felt inspired exploring these new welcoming streets. The people here seemed in touch with themselves and you could see it in the tiny explosions of self expression in the windows and along the streets. We found ourselves at a little local sandwich shop with the freshest of ingredients. YUM. While we were waiting I picked up a local city paper and noticed the extensive coverage of the political race and how it outlined the candidates thoughts on important issues – not just two parties represented but several… which gave me insight on the open-mindedness of the state of Maine (their state motto being: The Way Life Should Be.)
After lunch we cruised the streets and came upon the cities farmer’s market – with produce aplenty and many happy people filling their bags with the delicious looking seasonal harvest. Farms from outside the city were representing some mighty fine produce – they knew it wouldn’t be long before the final hurrah. We were still a few hours away from our evening destination of Rockland so we decided to jump in the car and head to southern Portland to do a little exploring and check out Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park.
When we got there it was beautiful – the white foam, the deep green-blue of the ocean, the giant lighthouse perched on the rocky waters edge and all of the textured artifacts of the once grand and sturdy forts standing high along the ocean. We couldn’t possibly explore it all in one day – the park has 90 acres to it’s name and we were able to just scratch the surface. We found this one deserted fort just beyond a rocky beach where we had been sitting awhile— we followed the path lined with red and yellow trees until it opened up to a clearing and the fort presented itself. Some of it was decorated with fresh graffiti but most of it was worn down by the elements – covered in rain, lichen and the like. We climbed up top and around a bend full of thorns and shrubs. We made our way to the rocky ledge that lead up to the most glorious misty view of the ocean…
I felt like a bird being so high up above it all – the wind blowing my hair this way and that – I imagined I had wings and closed my eyes and breathed in the salty air. In the distance we could see more lighthouses and the green bells out swaying in the current. I imagined myself a star gazer awaiting for my beloved captain to return home after months of looking out on the gray, misty horizon only to see the crest of waves. The feeling one must feel when finally.. they see their beloved’s ship. That rush is easy to feel at such heights.. when we feel closest to nature, the mystery, the magic and to ourselves..