Tag Archive | "Independence"

Cutler Maine – Every Day Is Independence Day


Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
Day 271

I believe this is my fourth, 4th of July in Cutler, and at Little River Light. I also believe the 4th of July here is very, very special. Here, like many small towns still in America, the day begins to take shape a week before, as flags are hung along Main Street from the telephone poles, yards are tended to, and red, white and blue bunting appears to adorn the front porches of the road-lining homes. And yet in Cutler Maine, it just seems more charming. It is arguably one of the most picturesque villages, harbors, and island Lighthouses in the country, and for the small stretch that is its heart, in what an MIT study referred to as “little more than a curve in the road linked to a small cove with docks”, is a heart of gold.

Sure it has all the trappings on the 4th – fireworks (that this year rivaled many a city 100 times its size), BBQ’s, a parade…it also still has “cracker-eating then whistle” contests, Coke drinking (an ad if I every saw one), and “bubble-gum bubble-blowing”. And it has Lobster Boat races, and lobster crate races (a true highlight), but what’s really special is its community, one I think often lost, that truly cares about, laughs with, shares in, and takes care of one another, and at a moments notice. I believe that to the degree it happens here, is indeed rare. And certainly a treasure.


And yet, at its very foundation is a deep rooted sense of independence. There can be few occupations that so embody the image of self-sufficiency and independence as that of a Maine Lobsterman. I find the dichotomy of these two factors at play, dependence and independence,neither of which this little Village could live without, striking.

And this Lighthouse, re-lighted a mere few days after the 9/11 tragedy, was christened “The Beacon Of Freedom”, as a sign of this country’s resilience, fortitude, and independence. It’s only fitting that it should be here.

The “Beacon Of Freedom” Flag was unfurled on the Tower on Tuesday. Just so happened it coincided with the return of the “Bold Coast Puffin Tour” boat, aboard the “Barbara Frost”, with Captain Andy Patterson always at the helm. This is an almost daily occurrence off the front yard of this island, and always a welcome sight. They stop and wave, and I wave back, all the while Andy I’m sure talking about this Light, and the families that kept it for so many years. Timing is everything.

The aligning of Venus and Jupiter, which I mentioned in an earlier post, definitely did not disappoint, although planets and the moon don’t often translate into pictures. This one I’ve posted, was looking due East, as dawn was breaking…

Both the fog, and the sea smoke, rolls in and out in minutes, and without warning. It is beautiful, lolling layers of light, usually quite gentle with its grip, graceful in its comings and goings. I’ve added a snap…

The world that is my rich and gifted palette, on this the most northeastern island Lighthouse in the US, is a full spectrum of greens and blues, smears of purples and pinks, accents of yellow, and of course, grays in every shade. How very fitting…

Work continues on the Island, as do visitors. Both are a privilege. And thanks to Bob at Ridge Redemption for being so accommodating. If you live around here, you should go to there. And I’ll share some more pics of the 4th, including the Lobster Boat races tomorrow.

I am thankful to all that fought, and struggled, and risked for this country’s Independence. Amidst all the pageantry and poetry, I thought about it. And I am grateful for Andy Griffith. Mayberry had an early and formative influence on me. Perhaps that’s one reason why I love, and appreciate, Cutler as I do.

Horn sounds. The Bell rings. And this Light shines. So does this Community.
May yours also.

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