By Jo Floyd Lucas
This is a slender thread indeed to take from previous posts and continue weaving, but I am compelled to disclose the newest love in my life now. It is one of the best kept secrets in the world...it is Maine.
If Ireland has earned the name of 'The Emerald Isle,' then surely Maine should be known as 'The Diamond State.' Actually, Thomas Jefferson gave that nickname to the little state of Delaware, but I'm convinced it's because he had not yet seen Maine from the air.
I've flown to Maine several times to visit my daughter, Andrea, who has lived there for almost a year now. I flew there in the heat of the summer last year and marveled at the lush pine forests of the New England states. I flew there in the winter and saw the pristine, snowcapped mountains of northern Maine. I flew there in March of this year during an honest-to-goodness nor'easter which lasted three days. I've come to love seeing Maine and her surrounding area in all its natural and most powerful glory. This time, however, I fell in love.
Flying to Maine this time was like meeting a friend and then realizing there is an added spark of attraction you never felt before. How could I have missed it? This is just so rare, so special...is it love?
As we were in flight on the approach to the airport, we were treated to a majestic scene. At about 10,000 feet, you could immediately see the water bursting out of the earth. It was literally bubbling up from the ground in scores of spots, cascading in torrents of crystal shards which turned into diamond water falls everywhere you looked.
There were not just a few spots that shone like diamonds. They were EVERYWHERE. Carved into the forests of New England and up into Maine, it looked as if God herself had been walking here, leaving her glistening, gem-strewn tracks in the beautiful green landscape. It took my breath away.
The captain piloting the plane evidently had noticed it, too, and seemed to be giving us the grand tour of this incredible display, because he soon began to make gentle arcs in the air, giving us all the most luxurious views of the sparkling light show below.
The scientist in me wondered, "What is causing this phenomenon? What conditions must be required for this to happen? What clarity of light, what clarity of water, and what angle of refraction must be necessary to create this pathway of diamond footprints?"
The ecologist in me wondered how long this awe-inspiring landscape would survive. "What should I be doing to protect this natural beauty? Will my grandchildren be able to witness this extraordinary scenery?"
The believer in me praised God. In my most active and creative and expansive imagination, I could not come up with a sight so purely sacred as this. "Thanks be to the Divine."
The child in me is the one who spoke. She oohed and ahhhed like a five year old. I looked over at my row mate two seats away, an elderly woman who hadn't spoken a word to me for the entire trip. I smiled at her, and with a mix of wonder and glee, heard myself say, "Can you see this? Come here and look!" She craned her neck, and soon scooted over to the seat next to mine, where she stayed, smiling, until we landed. (I'm grateful that she apparently didn't think me the lunatic I felt myself to be.)
"Exquisite." That's the only word she spoke to me the entire trip. But that said it all.
As for me? I'm head over heels in love.