Now that signs of spring are starting to sprout up everywhere, my favorite thing to do is looking for life in the cemetery. Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, ME is a lovely place to walk and explore, and full of gorgeous scenes.
Some people might find the cemetery to be a creepy place, but I find a lot of peace and inspiration there. Evergreen Cemetery is covered in trees and winding roads, lichen and moss (two of my favorite things in nature) grow everywhere, and the sculptural qualities of headstones and monuments are gorgeous.
Spending time in the cemetery is a great place for me to connect with nature and recharge. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the landscape changes this spring.
I feel like I’ve been gone from this space for so long, and so much has happened in that time. This winter has been really difficult. According to other Mainers, this winter has been harder than many recent winters. I would really love if every winter didn’t drag on like this, but I feel pretty proud that I’ve survived all the blizzards so far! Now the snow is melting rapidly, the days are longer, and being outside is starting to seem like a nice idea.
This time of year has a magical kind of feeling. You can feel every living thing begin to change with the season, even before you can see it. It’s in the air and the light. The wind and even the rain feels like is helping make way for the growth that’s coming. I can feel it in myself too.
My studio is finally coming together, and it feels so wonderful to have a space that is big enough for me to spread out and make (creative) messes in without running out of space. I also love finding more little spots to display all the little *things* that I love to collect. I have jars upon jars of rocks from various locations, vintage brass figurines, old photos, and an ever growing collection of natural specimens (i.e. sticks, pods, and things covered in lichen). I’m excited to start sharing some of my collections soon.
December first was cold and snowy. It feels validating in a strange way to have such pronounced weather and a distinct season to tie my current transition to. While I expect I will grow to miss the even and predictable weather of California’s East Bay, I really appreciate the range and rapid changes of Maine’s weather, particularly in winter. There is comfort in the familiarity of hissing radiators, icy windshields and condensation on the kitchen windows.
This Thanksgiving is the first Thanksgiving in 6 years that Lindsay and I have spent with family. In our California life, traveling to the east coast was reserved for supremely important occasions. Being that Thanksgiving is so close to Christmas, we always stayed on the west coast for this particular holiday. We had Thanksgivings with just the two of us, we hosted feasts with many friends, and we even got to spend a few with a friend and her loving family. But this year, our first east coast Thanksgiving was spent with Lindsay’s Uncles and cousin (whom, considering our 11 year relationship, I have come to consider my Uncles and my cousin too).
Uncle Henry’s classy Thanksgiving spread
It was the most warm and wonderful Thanksgiving I’ve had in a long time. There was lots of laughing, dancing in the kitchen, sassy smack-talking and wonderful food. We had long late night talks over wine, cozy naps, and did plenty of knitting.
I feel so thankful that Lindsay and I have made our move back east and have already been able to do so many of the things we could only dream of doing on the west coast. Spending more time with both of our families has felt so nourishing and necessary and I am truly thankful for that.
some post Thanksgiving hail
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!
Over the weekend I roamed through tombs and headstones at Evergreen Cemetery in Portland. I marveled at the marble monuments, the mementos left at graveside, and moss blankets sprawling over stone surfaces. The rain drizzled and my boots sunk softly in the leaves. Breathing in the cool air tinged with the scent of leaves and soil felt so decidedly autumnal; it was the perfect picture of exactly what I had been missing before the move.
I have been living in Maine for two months now. The way I have been feeling seems so big I don’t know where it begins or ends or blends into something else. I have wanted to write about it, but I have been (and still feel) unable to identify the elements to describe it. It felt scary while Linz and I were making our preparations to move, but those anxieties have made way for new ones. Already I have had the joy of experiencing beautiful and simple moments with my family and friends, moments that would not have happened were I not living here.
But now, as I forge a new routine and rhythm for myself, I feel swamped by my own expectations and experiences, unsure of how to sort them out. Part of the difficulty is not yet having a routine or rhythm. I know that as I build the structure for myself to reflect and digest and dream, things will ease. I expected certain elements of my California life to transfer here seamlessly, things I now know need time to grow their own roots and find a new way to live here. I’m confidant it will happen, but it’s not always easy being patient with myself.
I’ve been in a state of flux for what seems like many weeks, maybe even months. Moving across the country is a seriously taxing endeavor (and much harder than it was the first time). But we’ve made it back to the great state of Maine, and our belongings arrived today. We are getting closer and closer to a settled state, even though it’s a little hard to believe. I’ve thought of lots of things I’d like to say, but for now, all I can muster is a few photos.