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  • Michelle Cordova

When In Maine...

I wrote this piece on December 14, 2021 while I was on a solo trip in Portland Maine. I hope you enjoy it.

Today, I skipped going out into a sunny Portland Maine to rest. Taking out the garbage, late day, I caught the last blush of pink in an otherwise milk glass white sky. The sea gulls were soaring, and the moon, shining like half a diamond, sat peacefully in the sky overhead. It’s December 14th, and I’ve been in Maine since November 29th. I still have time. Time to rest if I want, go at my own pace, as my stay here is a luxurious full month through December 27th. The days have a flow. There are rest days such as these, and there are walking days, the days I need rest from.

Walking days are full of life, taking in the sights, people, harbor views, smells of cooked seafood and firewood, cathedrals, colorful houses, boats, wreaths on doors, snow, salt, icicles, red berries on trees, cobblestone streets, asks for spare change, lights, lobster roll, shops, conversations, and errands to keep up supplies. Rest days include hot bubble baths, painting, writing, texting, working a little, making healthy meals, watching many movies, reading, listening to sea gull calls, cleaning my sweet and cozy apartment, hearing train whistles, laundry, stretching, thinking, processing, singing, and generally trying to breathe deep, and be present.

Eastern Promenade Casco Bay View
Eastern Promenade Casco Bay View

A couple of days into my journey, I deleted the Instagram app (the only social media I do). I’d had it with the obsessive scrolling. I was wasting my life. Only a brief hop back on to post a few Maine pics, clean up my feed, and do an end of year post, and I deleted the app again. I am loving my new social media free existence. I will still use Instagram, but will put limits around my use. Wait, tangent. Back to Maine.

I love it. I’ll stay local in Portland this time, but look forward to future explorations into more country, natural Maine. I love the word, Maine. I’ve always wanted to come here. Drawn to it. My favorite Portland Maine is after the rain cleared out all of the snow, a steamy, overcast Maine. There is also the beauty of snow-covered Maine, which is simply magical. The snow glistens in the sun, and I have to be careful not to slip on the icy parts.

So many cool things have happened since I’ve been here. Too many memorable moments to include here. Moments of synchronicity. One day I was walking around the Eastern Promenade, a gorgeous sprawling park with stunning views of Casco Bay, and several of the surrounding islands. I was feeling lonely that day, melancholic, an ‘if I disappeared who would care’, kind of vibe. I walked along the jetty-lined water and found a bench. On the bench read the words, “You are loved” framed between two hearts. Did you ever feel like you were in the right place at exactly the right time? That’s how I felt after reading that note. A calm came over me as I enjoyed the vista, and the 20 minute walk back to my apartment to paint.

"You are loved" message Easter Promenade Portland Maine
"Your are loved" message Eastern Promenade

Maine is an ideal place for a painter like me. I take pics when I’m out on my excursions, then do what I call “light” ink and watercolor paintings at home. Light and easy.

This time means a lot to me. I’ll come home to Sacramento a different person. Travel always changes a person. I’ll have inspiration for eons with the images and memories I’ve gathered here. One thing I know for certain, I will return to Maine.

Thank you for reading,


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