What Maine Means to Me

A story by Nicolette B. Meister from 2010s

Horseshoe crab in the long sea grass.

I'm not a Mainer and have never lived in the state, but my dearest friend embodies all that I've come to know and love about Maine: unsurpassed natural beauty, rugged honesty, and the comfort of feeling that you are family even when you're not. Maine has gifted me many first experiences: my first lobster and crab, which happened to make me violently ill, my first sea glass collected on a rocky beach, the smell of salt water and the feel of it on your skin after spending the afternoon on the coast (I'm a Wisconsinite and Lake Michigan just smells like algae), an encounter with prehistory by handling my first horseshoe crab, and Dahlov Ipcar. I would have never know her beautifully illustrated children's book if it were not for my Mainer friend.

Mainers have a connection to place that I recognize and value. Place connects us to our identity, past and present. I will always be a Wisconsinite and this will state will always be home to me, regardless of where my life takes me and regardless of where my family now lives (Oregon). Maine has a powerful way of pulling people home. Indeed my friend, who I met in Colorado, and spent years visiting in Minnesota, was called home to her roots where life is now complete.

Not from the tank at the grocery store!

This is Maine.