Canada, Maine


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It’s late and silent, up here above the little village in our town. The parade, with its historical legacy of our town’s founding, passed by many hours ago in bright morning. Our neighbors have all gone, the few houses of my little neighborhood are empty and dark down below. Everyone’s gone to a fireworks display in the next town, and Boots—the old dog—and I are winding up Deer Hill Road. On the flat up there in the dark I, too, might see the fireworks.


Five miles away over the old hills lies the village of our nearest neighbor, Canada, Maine. Its town-line abuts ours and we will soon cross that line as we climb. I wonder if the hills will permit a view of the display, which is planned as an apology for last week’s foul-up. Almost every community in Maine knows some form of summertime festival. Last week Canada was to have one of its parades—topped off with a fireworks salute. But, after the crowd assembled, it was canceled when the fireworks company failed to show. “We take full responsibility for the mix-up which was completely our fault. So We Will Make It up to You! ” So ran the three-quarter page ad in the local weekly. “We will surpass every past celebration to say we are really sorry.”

As we near the flat where the view opens out, from a distance comes the first emphatic boom!! The opening signal. I quicken my step, tighten up a bit on the leash, urge the dog on. As we emerge from behind the large u-shaped house built to take advantage of this view, we see the first spouts of colored fire shooting up from the dark hills. We hear its thunder, far away, born with force through the airways of the Western Mountains. I stand in the road—looking out across the valley toward richly blazoning sparks. There are the distant landmarks, particularly the lights of ridge-side condos, in Canada, Maine.

This entry celebrates the acceptance of another in the Maine Metaphor series by Wipf and Stock’s imprint, Resource Publications. Entitled Visiting the Eastern Uplands, it’s our third go-round with a traditional publisher. S. Dorman books are both independently and traditionally published–what is called the hybrid in publishing. In dissemination, this may be the best an author can hope for. The scene depicted above is from the accepted book, and is celebratory because it was written on the day our town celebrated its 175th anniversary. Our town then, that is. We no longer live there, but a short distance away through the woods over an intervening very small mountain. This summer the town will celebrate its bicentenary. The name of that town is the alternate name for Mirkwood in J.R.R. Tolkien’s elaborate Middle-earth. Another odd fact is that we now live in the valley next to the one described, also over the town-line, in what was formerly known as Sudbury Canada, Maine. Probably I’m not explaining this very well. 🙂

Strange to say, this unusual town name, Canada, Maine, was chosen by me 25 years ago to disguise the town. Strange partly because it is historically accurate. Our town was initially called Sudbury Canada, Maine. It was so named because of a battle in the French and Indian Wars (historically described).

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The first three paragraphs of this entry are used with permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers

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