A “mast year” on Spruce Point
So it’s a Harvest Full Moon this week and an extra-high tide as well – two feet above average and not just because of the moon but the equinox alignment of sun and near-earth-orbit moon. This moon was also known as the Long Nights Moon – an interesting parallel to the fact that farmers know the Harvest Moon offers extra time for getting in the crops: while the moon generally rises 50 minutes later each night, for a few days, this moon rises less than 30 minutes later each night, offering a few more minutes of precious harvesting time. (Whether to harvest pumpkins or memories on this Indian Summer evenings to store for winter.)
It’s apparently also a “mast year” for acorns – an Old English expression that doesn’t translate to anything more elaborate than “more acorns than usual.” Oaks know to regulate the squirrel population with cycles of more or fewer acorns; but every 2-5 years they feel a primeval need to ensure their own survival by generating more acorns than all the animals can eat. Some of the leftovers are certain to rise as saplings in the spring.
The earth and trees and tides “abide” as Maine’s own Joshua Chamberlain might say (as he did about Little Round Top), to stop and look around.
Stopping and looking around is what this season seems best for. Those who work in field, orchard and barn collect their harvest; those who “go down to the sea in ships” take stock of what’s ahead and haul against late hurricanes or batten the hatches for those cold, dark dawns in the lobster fleet. The leaves put on one more glorious show before their fall.
We arrive at the last week of the season here at Spruce Point Inn, winding up another glorious season and in the mood to take stock, ourselves. Sitting in the sunshine, watching the tide and moon rise on the Boothbay shore, we number many things to be thankful for. A very good season, thanks to an incredible crew was rewarded with public accolades from guests: “Best Hotel in Maine” from the readers of Down East. Nods from the editors of Yankee in their story on Boothbay. And, just this week, word from Conde Nast Traveler that Spruce Point Inn is #13 of the Top 25 New England Resorts.
It was – and still is – a “very good year.” Sometimes it’s hard to remember to look up, and out and beyond. To take stock in an optimistic future. But satisfaction does come. Sails filled on tall masts hewn from a rich grove of putting back in as we take out. And the sure sense that we continue to create “oceanside memories, made in Maine.”
We turn to winter as “before the mast.” Now comes the hard work of putting things in order to prepare for next year. Gathering in the sails and extra acorns, if you will. And watching the moon, rising once more.