Page 8 - WCM 2022 Winter
P. 8

Surviving a Tough Maine Wintah’ by Ron Fournier
  Clint Douglas loved his beagles, and spent many a cold winter day running his dogs in search of snowshoe hare. Always clad in wool, Uncle Clint would spend the day working the dogs, and would return in time to clean his quarry for a fresh supper of rabbit (hare) and canned veggies from the garden.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ah, Maine. To some, it’s nothing more than just another state, a location to live, a place to visit on vacation. To others, Maine is a state of mind, a feeling, a place of wildness and challenges. A place where hardship can be found around any corner, and the weather can change on a dime. Maine is home to thousands of miles of dirt roads, remote areas, deep forests, and one of the most rugged coastlines along the continental United States. Maine is simply not a place for the weak at heart or spirit. It takes a special sort of person to call much of our state home, especially in the winter, and even more so during a “traditional Maine wintah’.” High winds, relentless, drifting snow, and a cold that chews right through you make our winters especially challenging, but what makes them different is that they typically last a long time. Storyteller Joe Perham of West Paris once described, “Maine - nine months of winter followed by three months of very poor sleddin’...” He wasn’t too far off, actually!
So, what makes us different from other states? What distinguishes us as Mainers? To me, it’s true grit, a definition that is seldom used these days. In a time of creature comforts and a tendency to take the easy road, real true grit
is uncommon. Webster’s Dictionary defines grit as, “firmness of mind; an invincible spirit; unyielding courage; and fortitude.” I would add that to live up to this descriptive, one must possess a strong sense of self-reliance, confidence, and excellent survival instincts. To me, when you’re struggling, you’re learning about yourself, you’re working hard, and pushing yourself to live intentionally.
As a young boy, I was lured by the outdoors, to a place where I felt I truly belonged. It was the wild places that I was drawn to. I remember listening to
Arts, Entertainment, Adventure and More in Western Maine
Sally Libby

   6   7   8   9   10