When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, maybe you’ve forgotten how to see what’s right in front of you. Nearly a year and a half ago I moved from Midcoast Maine to Worcester, Mass., ostensibly to be closer to my elderly father, who has dementia, and to make more money, in that order. The Plan was that I would purchase a house in Massachusetts, my partner would sell our house here, and she would move in with me in Massachusetts.

I rented what must be the smallest freestanding house in Massachusetts — maybe even New England. If it was 500 square feet, it sure wasn’t an inch more. But there was nobody upstairs to make noise (there was no upstairs), and the landlady was willing to let me have my cockapoo, Riley. And the rent was affordable, with off-street parking, that prize of city-dwellers. I moved in January 2011, just before the incessant snowstorms began.

My new job started out well enough. And I was in a place I’d lived in before, so I still had some friends at my old church, and in the area, which helped. Maureen and I discovered Skype, and marveled at the 1960s science-fiction quality of a phone call with video.

Still, having important parts of my life on hold (when would Maureen and I live together again?) was like vinegar on a hangnail. I wasn’t always aware of the pain at the same degree of intensity, but it hurt all the time.

And it was compounded by the fact that I don’t really have parents, as such, anymore. After Mom died three years ago, we realized how much she’d been compensating for Dad’s increasing memory loss and that he couldn’t live by himself.

So there I was, living on my own in a way I never had before. No one to call for comforting advice and verbal pats, no financial backstop if something catastrophic occurred, nowhere to go for a weekend of being somebody’s little girl again. More than anything, this sudden (albeit delayed) onset of adulthood raised my anxiety level.

I came up to Maine a few weeks ago for Patriots’ Day weekend, and driving up the Maine Turnpike on Friday after work, I thought, “Gee, I wish I could come back here for good!”

I ran into a friend from my VillageSoup days in Rockland, and she invited me to come see the new offices on Monday. I went to my old church in Belfast, and poured my heart out to the minister after the service about wanting to come home. She said, “Maybe you should think about selling the Massachusetts house rather than the one here. It might be easier.” She said a number of other things as well, which helped a lot.

On the Monday I went to see the new Courier offices and Editor Dan Dunkle was there. We chatted, and by the time I got back to my house in Massachusetts later that day, I had an email about an opening in Belfast. A week later I was hired. I was coming back to Maine, coming home.

I’m more than glad to be back. And I am newly appreciative of my partner, who stuck by me through months of angst, separation, financial hardship and general awfulness. Our relationship seems to have been blessed with a large dose of new life. What a gift.

But it wasn’t just missing my partner, or my parents, that brought me back. It was this place. This place of small towns, low wages (if you can even find a job), tourist traps and unspoiled scenery — but most of all, a place of neighbors, where community is still strong enough to be unquestioned. Where people help each other because none of them has much of anything, but together they get by. It is a different culture, an older culture, than the more populated places a couple hundred miles south, and you probably have to leave it to know how precious it is.

This type of community is the water you don’t miss until the well runs dry. It is public suppers for everything from cancer treatments to church steeples. It is car washes for school trips, casseroles in the freezer when someone has a baby, or is sick, or a loved one dies. At its best, it transcends politics, religion and money. It is a little bit of heaven on earth.