I’ve been on a two week vacation in Robbinston, Maine, a very tiny town with no town center and only 500 or so people in almost 34 square miles. Robbinston is in Washington County, Maine – Downeast Maine’s “Sunrise County.” Washington County is called the Sunrise County because it is the easternmost county in the United States. It’s also the poorest county in Maine and among the poorest in our country.
However, it is only economically poor – its natural wealth is endless. Watching the roaring waters of Reversing Falls I see seals riding the waves. On the lake with the ethereal loons, I’m amazed as one swims under my kayak. Hearing a splash on my morning walk, I see a majestic bald eagle rising from the lake with breakfast in his talons. Wild strawberries abound in fields soon to make way for the blueberry carpets of August. And as I walk along the country roads, I am greeted by the sight and smell of cedar and sea roses.
Every day I am reminded of the tangible values in life. Things we can touch and feel and smell and see – things that are constant, things we can count on. This is the currency of Washington County. Washington County’s coffers are lined with raw beauty that feeds our souls not our pocketbooks. After two weeks I know these are the things of true value, the things that remind us where real joy and wealth can be found.
Now the challenge is to remember Washington County’s values when I rejoin the “real world” – that electronic working world; that money world. Each day back the memories will get dimmer, but I am forever connected to the loons, the eagles, the waters – how can I forget? If we let them, they speak louder than the misguided values of our financial world. Do you hear them?
Tomorrow we drive four hours back home – let the transition be peaceful and easy….