Before I continue with my odyssey into the Gulf of Maine and the northern reaches of Canada, I want to say this…
One morning I was having breakfast at a restaurant overlooking a bay in Maine. A white family was having a debate about the ‘rightness’ of black ball players taking a knee. The debate went on for some time. Then there was a pause. They’d exhausted the soundbites I’d heard on the news and known that no one really had dug any deeper than the media buzz.
The mother said, “It’s all so overwhelming. I don’t really know what to do anymore.”
The son, in his midtwenties, said, “You’ve got to pick your poison, and choose what to invest in.”
Yes. I thought. That’s true.
Me? I am invested in sharing the challenges rural communities face and how they stay solvent or reclaim their town after decades of economic despair. It’s complicated. It’s messy. I continue to be awed by the resilience and dedication of those driven to reclaim their communities — before, after, and in between their work days.
I’ve never witnessed anything quite like the leadership and endless perseverance of these folks. If you feel I overstate it, I invite you to come with me and watch! It’s exhausting!