At its core, it is simply a sign, a sheet of steel screwed to a post that marks the boundary line for a small Knox County, Maine town with a population of 1,671 according to the last census.
It is a sign I’ve driven past dozens of times over the years on my travels along Route 17, as I headed to and from Rockland and its neighboring communities.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, with the leaves just starting to turn from lush green to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows, however, the sign seemed to take on a different meaning.
As someone who works with words daily, I often consider multiple meanings for words and phrases as I encounter them.
One such consideration led to a fictional novel project I’m working to complete.
This one led me to think not of the small town that bears the name, but rather to the word’s most common definition – “to expect with confidence.”
In that vein, the sign’s simple wording – “Entering Hope” – seemed to have a much more profound meaning.
In the future, as I travel Route 17 and make the transition from Union to Hope, I'm sure I'll never view the town line sign quite the same way.