When I’m on Matinicus, there is no other place. That’s a sensation I always had, even as a vacationer. Once you’re here, there’s no other there over there.
The other sensation, which you can only get if your tourism goes on long term Year of the Cat style, is that the treadmill is set a few paces faster than your feet can go. And the treadmill doesn’t just turn in a line, but also right, left, backwards and in three dimensions, and you need to carry buckets and tools and try to not spill your refreshment.
Without quite saying it out loud in my head, I am constantly telling myself: ‘don’t blink, because it is midsummer on the island.’ I do not want to miss a chance to haul traps, socialize, notice a flower, play kickball, walk, beach, look up at the stars, lay in the hammock, appreciate the bird songs, try to keep up with the grass, breathe, fix things around the house and clean up that colossal mess in the barn. ‘Hurry up and soak it in,’ I semi-consciously think.
This summer is an extra concentrated cocktail because I am back and forth between home on Matinicus and the mainland. I duffle-bag it three days a week in order to work the office job I took last fall when the fiscal cliff opened up underneath me again.
I have a friend who travels hundreds of days a year for work all over the northern hemisphere. For me, there is some major jet lag involved even without crossing time zones. I also still have three or four island jobs to do, only in half a week instead of on a 7 day cycle. Then I have to at least appear coherent on Monday morning.
That, folks, sounds like summer in Maine for a lot of us. Now, where are the toothpicks?