by Ayelet Waldman
It says something about my excitement at adding my voice to this remarkable blog that I'm up so early, even before my kids. I've been sleeping late this summer. After 15 years of waking up with babies and small children, my four kids have finally figured out that they're capable of pouring their own cereal and entertaining themselves for a few hours. They've been letting us sleep in, and my husband and I appear to be reverting to the hours of our adolescence, working and reading until 1 or 2 am, and then crashing until 10.
But it's much earlier than that today. I haven't beat the sun, but we're in Maine, in that weird part of the state that hangs over itself, so you're not quite sure whether you're north or south. They call it "Downeast," and whatever the geography, it gets light early. Like really early. I don't know how early, because there's no way I'm getting up early enough to see the sun rise. I could Google, but the network connection is so slow here I've been fantasizing about the speed and efficiency of vacuum tubes.
This part of Maine, like most of the state, is decidedly white. Whiter than anywhere else I've been, and I'm a Jew who lived part of her life in Israel, in a time long before the immigration of the Ethiopian Jews and the fashion for Filipino domestic workers. Last spring the US Census Bureau released figures estimating that the state of Maine is 95.3 percent white. It is, in fact, the whitest state in the country, just edging out Vermont and West Virginia for that dubious distinction.