It's cold here in Southern Maine.
I know that's an obvious thing to say, but the imminence of that cold is only just starting to sink in. We've had a few minor snowfalls now, and as we get closer to the winter solstice, the reality that we'll be looking at cold and snow for the next five or more months can feel overwhelming.
And here in Old Orchard Beach, the differences between winter and summer are particularly stark.
The ebb and flow of the seasons have long played a pivotal role in my experience of the world. Nowhere my family has lived have I been more viscerally aware of that cycle than here. At the height of the summer there can be over seventy thousand people in the small town we live in, while by contrast our winter population is under ten thousand.
We moved here during the summer, from a town even smaller than Old Orchard Beach is at its most deserted, and the people here took quite a bit of getting used to. As you can see in today's photo, our lovely beach fairly swarms during a nice summer day. The constant buzz and energy is at once exhilarating and exhausting.
Walking the beach today, bundled up against the wind in a hat, parka, thermal pants, and mittens, it's difficult to believe that this was the same beach where I took that photo. It's even harder to imagine that in six months it will be again.