He had made it to one of the great get-away places in the world. Maine, and the wind was fresh. Running away from an early love, he wasn’t sure how he ended up here. The friends he was stopping to see were former colleagues, and had offered an invitation. He was pretty sure they hadn’t expected to have it accepted. No matter. They were gracious and here he was.
He realized on this dazzling day filled with sail boats viewed from the shore, that he couldn’t run away. He had run to a place which filled his senses with salt air, brown bread and beans, stories being told, black flies and spinnakers. In this case, he was watching a sloop race out on the water, but he had no dog in the hunt. He had to admit that he couldn’t really be sad, with all the stirring signs of fresh life around him.
We’re none of us locked in the same spot anymore. And few he’d met, had been here in Maine all their life. Some were from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, or the mid-west. All were perching on the rocky shore as gleefully as he was. This beach wasn’t anywhere to sunbathe, really, compared to beaches he knew as a boy. The water temperature wasn’t anything he’d have previously thought swimmable. The hard scrabble ground wouldn’t grow a tomato on odd years. But here he had friends both from here and from away.
Here he was watching the Friendship Sloop races, and he realized again that the name of the sloop was for him the name of the game. Not a race at all, but new friends to be greeted, friends to hold, and new friends he’d never forget. Couldn’t be running away, when you wanted to make the shore before the wind switched. His early love was being blown away in the breeze, and the joy of the day. Like a butterfly. He celebrated and was dazzled.
It proved a win for him in his race to get on with his life. He realized that this place held a distillation of new friends, which like friends everywhere held a combined grace of the beautiful, the ephemeral, and the rich. it was very like these colorful sails reaching in the wind. The filled sails very like butterflies. Pure joy. Perfect in visual metaphor, and perfect for a Maine day.