Love Letters to Maine | Jenny Kordick

Dear Maine,

You lured me in with a kayak. The promise of after-work sunset paddles, summer outings on lakes, and island hopping was a vision hatched in my city apartment that you brought to life.

To be honest, life with you sounded too good to be true. I feared I was setting impossible expectations. But if there were surprises, it was that you were more beautiful and welcoming than I could have imagined.

It’s hard to remember a more perfect morning than when I woke up at sunrise to paddle to Jewell Island to get first pick at a campsite, seals and monarch butterflies following my kayak as I looked out at a soft blue sea that blended into the light sky.

I’ve never had a better evening view than when I hiked ten miles through the Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land, pitching my tent by a rocky outcropping overlooking a long lake and the majestic face of Katahdin.

And yet it was this past year that sealed my love for you. When there was so much uncertainty and grief, you provided a breath of fresh air and gave me something to look forward to week after week. There were the many hikes, impromptu backyard bonfires with friends, and bike rides along the coast. There were the weekly ocean dips, even in the winter when swimming resembled more of a frantic plunge.

Throughout it all, you have provided an opportunity for continual growth and gratitude. No matter what the world throws at us, you remind me that joy and purpose can be found in the simple moments we spend outside.

You are a gem, Maine. I hope you keep luring in others as you did with me.

Kordick is the executive director of Maine Outdoors Brands.

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