It was 70 degrees and sunny on Christmas day in Maine; who would have ever thought. My family and I quickly realized this was not weather to waste, and set out for the beach. Despite growing up visiting these New England beaches, Maine’s rocky coast and deep blue ocean never fail to take my breath away.
We decided on the lovely one mile Cliff Walk out on the Prouts Neck peninsula in Scarborough, Maine. While in the summer months it can be difficult to find parking, as most of the surrounding community is gated and private, we were able to park and begin at the Black Point Inn, which is closed for the winter. We were not the only ones with this idea, and gradually passed other walkers along the rocky path; some with young children enjoying the rough terrain, and others with happy go lucky dogs enjoying the irregular winter warmth. As the area is known to be a seasonal summer community, most of the extravagant adjacent homes, with their million dollar views, sat dark and empty. We passed the famous house and studio of American landscape painter, Winslow Homer, as well as the part time residence of NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. I continued to imagine what it would be like to wake up and eat breakfast looking out onto the grand Atlantic ocean: its crashing waves and surrounding beaches.
I had never done this walk before, and couldn’t believe that the landscape could continue to change and intensify around every corner. We walked at an unhurried pace, taking it all in. From the ever changing seascape, the flat stoned beaches, and up into the rugged cliffs, we continued around the coastal loop. My brother became captivated by the small tide pools between the algae covered rocks, while my mom kept her camera close, hoping to spot an interesting bird along the horizon. I couldn’t seem to take my eyes away from the coast itself — rising and falling with the majestic cliffs; surrounded by the ocean on three sides, with familiar beaches and the Old Orchard Pier in the distance. It was just so, Maine: gracious, beautiful, and serene.
With a snow storm behind us and the creeping arctic blast moving in, I revisited this walk last weekend. Although it wasn’t 70 degrees, the sun beamed down, and the light dusting of snow on the cliffs glistened next to the clear blue sea. As I sat on the rocks taking in the crisp ocean air, I basked in the view, and recognized again why my heart and soul remains forever in this state.