Last year, Captain Richie Walker was gracious enough to invite me onto his lobsterboat, Sea Glass, for a spin around Penobscot Bay and a short primer on his work. Walker has been fishing a good while longer than I have been alive. As he hauled traps and measured bugs and talked about growing up in the fishing culture of post-war Vinalhaven, I got the sense I was speaking with someone for whom life and work are fundamentally integrated, for whom a job isn’t only a job but also a way of being in the world.
I consider myself lucky to enjoy similar circumstances, to have work that not only provides a living but also feels fundamental to who I am, work I am paid for but that (most days, anyway) I would gladly do for free. I know that finding fulfillment in one’s work isn’t a privilege afforded everyone. I know too that not everyone looks to her job for that sort of satisfaction. But I get the impression that many transplants to Maine come seeking a kind of work-life harmony that has eluded them elsewhere, and one of my favorite things about my job is the opportunity to speak with those folks who seem to have found it.
Captain Walker and his crew recently welcomed us again, this time on a 45-mile run to their offshore lobstering grounds, for a photo feature by Gabe Souza that exhibits their dedication to their work (page 56). The farmers of the Greenhorns coterie, meanwhile, sustainable-agriculture advocates and publishers of The New Farmer’s Almanac, have clearly merged their profession with their passions (page 24). And Maine’s recently sworn-in governor, Janet Mills, has for years woven her love of poetry into the business of politicking and governance. “I think you incorporate literature and poetry into what you do,” she told writer Katy Kelleher for this month’s feature (page 64). “I think there is always a place for literature and poetry in a person’s life and profession.”
However you hope to blend or balance your calling and your livelihood, here’s hoping you are as lucky in achieving it as those in this issue. And may you find room to do so here in Maine.