This morning, I woke up to gunfire. Hunting season began last Saturday, and today in the woods a hunter was getting an early start. This is not my favorite time of year, when people—mostly men—dress in orange and carry loaded rifles in the woods. It is always a relief to me when hunting season is over.
I, too, wear orange when I work in my yard during hunting season, and I usually have a radio with the volume turned up very loud so that hunters will be aware they are near a house. In November I am grateful that Liam is such a noisy dog who will bark at everything and nothing. More noise to alert hunters.
Today is also election day, in Maine as well as in the rest of the country. Clif and I voted early—a little after 8 a.m.—and already the parking lot was full, with cars lined up on both sides of the drive leading to the town office. Upon putting my ballot in the machine, I was told I was voter 51, and between all the cars in the lot and the people inside the town office, I was not surprised. Winthrop not only cooks, but it votes, too, it seems.
Normally, I don’t write very much about politics in this blog. I prefer to focus on nature, people, food, the environment, libraries, and other small-town matters. But as someone who freely and proudly admits to being both a liberal and a progressive, I feel as though I must stray, at least a little, from my usual topics. Simply put, today is a real nail-biter day for me and my family. In varying degrees, several family members have been adversely affected by the state’s current administration—I’m not going to go into details—and four more years with the same people in charge is a discouraging thought.
The bigger picture is no better. From health care to the environment to social services to the economy, it feels as though Maine has taken many, many steps back. Nowhere is this clearer than with alternative energy. Because of Maine’s location by the sea, we are in an ideal position to not only produce our own electricity, carbon-free, but to also export it to other states thereby reducing their carbon footprints. Unfortunately, we seem to be no closer to accomplishing this than we were four years ago. Given the state of our planet and the warming climate, this cannot be counted as merely being stalled in one place. This has to count as regression.
And for those who think that Maine’s recent spat of cold winters disproves climate change, think again. Apparently, the melting Arctic ice affects the jet stream, which, in turn, has made our winters colder. Yes, it’s complicated, but it’s a clear case of a warmer world and climate change.
But I digress. All over Maine, people are going to the polls, and if Winthrop is any indication, then voter turn-out should be quite high.
My day began with a bang. Let’s hope it ends with a bang and a new direction.