Maine has all the attributes of a vixen; she is beautiful, and she can be the love of your life. But just when you think she is yours forever, she turns cold and slaps you in the face with her frigid tears.

When she is smiling, her smile warms the hearts of everyone, but when she starts to cry, her spell may last for days and days.

Even when she dries her eyes and convinces you that her mood has changed for the better, it is hard to trust her because she is likely to change her mind on a whim.

This lady’s tears are so profuse that they soak the earth and make it a glorious green to contrast the gray of the sky.

SUITORS FLOCK TO HER

For a few months each year, suitors flock northward to court this lady; they are ready to be beguiled by her cool demeanor.

By early fall, however, they turn their backs on her and return whence they came — only to be replaced by those visiting her fall riot of color or her winter fields and slopes of white.

While they are away, they will think of her from time to time and remember her distant beauty, but they will have little interest in seeking her out until they have had enough heat and crackling earth.

Then, her siren song will lure them once again. They will come back in droves and pay well for the privilege of pursuing this elusive lady.

My husband and I are part of the annual odyssey seeking refuge from the fever of suburban living. At home we are surrounded by swimming pools, shopping centers, theaters, concert halls and restaurants of every description.

In coastal Maine, the Atlantic Ocean is the swimming pool — although its water may not be swimmer-friendly. Its natural attributes make it a visual attraction as well as a source of food and recreation.

Shopping centers are replaced by small shops where service supplants endless selection.

No one starves for lack of a restaurant, and many of these are family-owned and feature local products.

THE BREATH OF NATURE

The air conditioning so essential to comfortable living at home is provided by Mother Nature, whose cool breath conditions for free.

My husband grew up in Maine, so the annual trek north is a return to his roots.

For me, a native of Atlantic City, N.J., Maine has become my second home. Two of my sons elected to go to college at the University of Maine at Orono.

I love the cities of Maine, the coastal villages, the mountains and most of all, the Mainers. I thank them for welcoming me back each year.

– Special to the Telegram