We’re so glad that, despite everything, you still feel up for leaf-peeping in Maine this fall. Of course, many things are up in the air with COVID-19 (not only the beautiful yellowish-red of our maple leaves!), so we here at Jansen Family Leaf Peeping Tours have a new guide to proper peeping protocol for 2020:
Only Four Peeps to a Pod!
In past years you may have encountered fellow, foreign peepers on your tour and, still in the thrall of the brilliant birch blades, exchanged positive peeping smiles with the league of leaf lovers. This year, you may peep only when masked with the members of your pod, and you must wear your smile in your heart.
Peep on a Flexible Schedule
There is no “one best day” to peep the beautiful branch ornaments we’re blessed by. Much like our public health situation, the leaves are changing daily and we must be as malleable as a majestic Maine maple bending, not breaking, in the wind.
Pause While You Peep
What has this year been, if not a giant pause for us all? A reminder to stop, look up, and appreciate the change in perspective peeping offers us. Once, it was winter, the trees were bare and we went inside. Now all of a sudden it’s fall, and we are still mostly inside, except for when we peep.
Peep with Perspective
Just as these leaves are transitioning to a new stage of their journey, so are we as a society. As Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön, said, “You are the sky. Everything else — it’s just the weather.” As humans, we bear witness to change via our peeping, but we can endure much more than the leaves of even an extremely energetic elm. As we are all fragile fronds right now (and we are trying to stop the public breakdowns on the premiere peeping paths), we humbly ask that you peep with Pema’s words embroidered upon your soul.
We must vote out Susan Collins. The trees are whispering it, and who are we to ignore the trees? They have a much stronger history of holding the powerful accountable than Susan Collins does.
Let’s Process Our Peeps
Much as you may not appreciate the beautiful photos of the dazzling deciduous deaths until you look at them in the frozen and fragmented frigidity of a foliage-free winter, the extent to which this peeping season will provide us solace through our socially distanced winter months is not yet known. Store this season’s peeping in your mind’s eye like you’re canning a recently harvested berry jam… or all the food you might still be hoarding after your pandemic buying binges, for future nourishment when you need it.
It’s OK to Weep and Peep!
Who among us has not cried while looking at the dramatic contrast of blazing red oak leaves against the blue Atlantic with white foam, and thought dark thoughts about the current state of our nation? Who has not shed a tear thinking about the currents of time, and how they’ve pushed on ceaselessly even as we cease to mark them in the usual ways, with family and holidays and birthdays? Which cold-hearted monster among us hasn’t wept uncontrollably while on a small side peep, reading into each and every fallen leaf a life cut short by government neglect and a refusal to listen to science? In 2020, to peep is to weep.
Leaf Peeping is Love
As owners of a prosperous peeping profession for the past two decades, we’ve peeped a lot over the years. We’ve peeped engagements, weddings, birthdays, family reunions, feuds, fistfights, and one felony. We’ve never peeped a year like 2020, but we have faith that we can emerge from this season with perspective, clarity, and a brand-new sense of peepability.
And to our beloved customer, we repeat what we say to the leaves — don’t be afraid to fall. There’s always next year… right?!?
Peep hard, peep safe, and peep in the interest of public health,
Jansen Family Leaf Peeping Tours, Maine