Driving across the causeway in Deer Isle, Maine: an island connected to the mainland by an old green bridge, sandbars, and causeways. I was thirty-nine. I’d just arrived. The pets would come later, by plane. I spent nearly ten years of childhood summers a few hours south in Boothbay Harbor. But this place: I didn’t know it. I chose it from afar. I think I missed the quiet contemplation of Maine. But I have to wonder what kind of person decides to spend winters where they’ve only ever summered. There was a note at the bed and breakfast, welcoming me to my new life, and saying they (the older couple who agreed to take me in) were at a friend’s house playing bridge for the evening. There was a lovely white cat who would keep me company in my room. But first, I went in search of a hot meal. I would find nothing open except a convenience store. The first person I saw, a scruffy-bearded fishermen, would give me a long, hard stare in the parking lot. Smiling is a reflex for me. He did not smile. But before that, on my way into town, as I wound across the snake-like causeway in a secondhand Subaru, it was snowing: giant, pillowy snowflakes, falling in dreamy slow motion, covering everything in white: the road, the boulders lining the causeway, and the boulders protruding from the ocean on both sides, in a very low tide. The snow and ocean seemed to go on forever. It was quiet. The road was empty. I drove through this postcard, this painting, this reminder…that everything is new, once.