The moment I step outside, the chill in the air catches me off guard. I quickly shake it off and hop down the front steps, stuffing my hands deep into my pockets. I look up at the bright blue sky. It’s filled with puffy white clouds today. I smile.
Today I’m wearing my LL Bean barn jacket. It only seems appropriate. For some reason, when I’m here, this is what I wear. I’m also in my favorite pair of worn jeans, a long-sleeve comfy gray T-shirt and brown shoes. The shoes are old. They’re a cross between a pair of work boots and Doc Martens. I love them and can’t part with them. Though I should. Maybe today will be the last day I wear them.
It’s a short walk down to the waterfront. The village is quiet today. Only a few locals. One has her head stuffed in a book that looks as old as dirt as she sits outside the coffee shop. An older couple walks hand-in-hand near the chowder house, likely walking down to check out the boats. Maybe they’re heading down to check on their boat. I wonder if I should follow them. I quickly catch up then slow down. I hang back a bit. They take a seat on an old green bench on one of the piers, lean back and gaze at the water. They’re still holding hands.
The sunlight glistens off the water like flashes of lightning on a mirror. It’s almost too bright now to look. Though it’s hard not to. I drink it all in. It’s only once in a lifetime one sees a sky like this reflecting off the water. The crisp air is working its magic on the trees, painting a scene of crimson and gold. Somewhere off in the bay a boat sounds a horn. A couple birds, startled, quickly flap away.
I head back up the hill toward the chowder house, wondering if it’s too early for a bowl. When you’re here, this is what you do. You hang out and watch the goings-on at the harbor. You eat chowder. You don’t think about anything other than this.
I look up again, take a deep breath, and smile.
This is my happy place.