by Caitlin Saniga
I was on my way to the Two Lights lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, when I saw car after car turning off the road into a flat field, where a small stand was erected and numerous people spread out across the field, stooping, reaching out. I was curious, so I followed suit and quickly found out everyone had come to pick strawberries — and not just any strawberries … strawberries that were so huge and dark that they looked almost black. And a mounded quart cost less than $3.
How could I resist? I spent 10 minutes hopping from row to row — following any flash of red I saw out of the corner of my eye until my little green basket was full — before I realized my gob of bed-and-breakfast and rental car keys was gone.
Losing my keys at Maxwell’s Strawberry Farm on the way to Cape Elizabeth was one of the defining moments of my trip. Traveling alone is absolutely exhilarating and freeing, but for a few brief moments, when I stood alone in the field gazing out across countless rows of strawberry plants, I felt alone and terrified. The sun was starting to sink toward the horizon, and I wondered if I’d have to spend the night in the field, searching until I either found my keys or lost my sanity. But thanks to the help of some kind strangers, my keys were spotted before too long. I’d like to extend a big thanks to the ladies at Maxwell’s Strawberry Farm and the kind gentleman who strayed from his berry-picking kin to help me track down my keys. I hugged him (I’m not sure he appreciated it, but his help meant so much to me!).
When I finally sat down and starting picking through my brimming basket and caught my breath, I realized strawberries had never tasted so sweet.