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Spruce Point Inn, Boothbay Harbor, ME, Resort, Holiday Events, Christmas

The intersection of time, place and the acceptance of the gift

Seems as if every sidewalk and border garden has a sprinkling of pine needles.  And a few red berries.  

Maybe (like the ones behind the couch) they’ve been there for months, but they suddenly look so festive. A tiny holiday surprise to counterbalance the rushing about of shopping, decorating and parties, to say nothing of getting the resort buttoned up for the winter. We always think the winding down of the year will be “a quiet time to plan” – and then the phone rings and another room is booked or wedding planned and soon another week has passed.

It’s the festive surprises we’re in mind of this week. “Coming upon us unawares” as the saying goes. The way the winterberry bushes stand out in the brown marsh grass with scarlet berries seeming to glow even on these short grey days. The spruces here on the Point, the iconic tree of the season, are ever more green. Just waiting for a dust of snow to trim their branches. Topped by the stars of Orion, rising in the night sky.

The “super moon” of December is still catching us in wonder, even days after its astronomical alignment, rising from the sea like a galleon with a billowing golden sail. And setting in the dawn, blazing with the color of fire on a winter hearth.

As Boothbay hosts another Festival of Lights, most dramatically the thousands of bulbs of the Garden Aglow, (and the fireworks over the harbor this weekend) we try again to explain why we find holiday light displays so enchanting. While some might grumble – like Charlie Brown – at a seemingly commercial display, they make us smile. Especially the solitary trees, standing watch in an empty field. Or a pine swag and bright red bow on a weathered barn door. The gift is the unexpected and simply beautiful. The intersection of time, place and our own perception and acceptance of the gift.

Simple gifts like these – cast upon the public gaze to feed the soul – are easy to find when you look around the December landscape of the Midcoast.  Small treasures, as another year winds to its close. A batch, in another season, of oceanside memories, made in Maine.