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All Things Pumpkin

It’s pumpkin season here on the mid-coast of Maine. So much so you’d think that calendars should automatically make the word “October” start with the round orange orb. Everywhere we look there are joyous signs of this garden mascot, from the pumpkins on the lawn at theFoliage Festival at Boothbay Railway Village to the pumpkinboat regatta at the Damariscotta Pumpkin Fest to the Great Pumpkin Hunt at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Right here at Spruce Point Inn you might find roasted pumpkin soup and other variations on the menu. And the fairy houses of the Pukwudgies are pumpkins that would make Cinderella and the mouse coachmen prefer to keep their carriage with its pumpkin roots intact. So what is it about pumpkins that the voice of magic whispers from their vines? Beyond Cinderella, there was Peter who kept his wife in a pumpkin shell, the jack o’lantern on the shoulders of the headless horseman, even “Jack” himself from Irish folklore who tricked the devil but was set wandering the countryside with only a lighted turnip to hold back the night.

The Wyeths, masters of the ‘wondrous strange’ have made the pumpkin a recurring talisman, driven no doubt by the sort of bedtime stories that the man who illustrated such classics as the Legend of Sleepy Hollow — patriarch NC Wyeth — must have told. The dark spruces of the Maine woods hold ancient secrets whose spells are countered by bright and sincere pumpkin patches illuminated by Indian Summer sunshine.

And there’s the reason we celebrate October with pumpkins. Pick one up and you hold a vessel containing all the warm summer days moving away behind us. Light one and you keep the darkness and mischief of winter at bay. Stop at a farmstand to choose the perfect makings for pie or lantern and for a moment you’re transported to a time when as a child you chose your pumpkin for the great magical All Hallows Eve. Once costumed in your imagination, you braved the shadows, unknowingly rehearsing all the years to come. Making memories.

So on this last weekend of the season here at Spruce Point Inn, soak in all the sunshine and color of the perfect autumn day. Savor the pumpkin and its solid cheerful strength. Spend the weekend reveling in October festivities that will resonate in family retelling among the most vivid “oceanside memories made in Maine.”