48X36, oil on linen, 2014
Midcoast Maine is full of limestone deposits. When limestone is burned, the carbon dioxide burns off and quicklime is left. This is used to make plaster, paper, mortar, concrete, fertilizer, leather, glue, paint, and glass. By the Civil War, midcoast Maine was producing more than a million casks of lime a year.
Rockport, ME, is one of America’s beauty spots, but it was once a center of quicklime manufacture. Step away from its photogenic harbor and hike up the Goose River a few thousand feet, and you will see great piles of lime tailings. Nature slowly attempts to cover this wound, but it is a slow process.
Eventually God will cover our sins, but it takes a long, long time. Sin can endure through generations, but ultimately, the spirit of the Lord will be with us, “to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3-4)