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Memories to hold onto

The Sunday New York Times Magazine held an interview with potter Edmund de Waal, whom many know from his best-seller The Hare With Golden Eyes. As a worker of magic with clay, he is pursuing the goal of bringing touch back into our overly-virtual world. His point is that by valuing “the world of touchable objects,” we better understand and value other human beings.

So in this early December when the world of touchable objects ranges from the cold damp of the waterfront and dripping spruces to hands warmed at firesides, brushing pine needles as lights and ornaments are strung and dough being rolled and shaped into holiday treats, we offer the tangible elements that help visitors to Spruce Point Inn create those “oceanside memories made in Maine.”

For many, memories of Maine are doused in salt water. There are rocks fringed in seaweed – granite warm from the sun beneath the toes; and blue mussels with rough-smooth shells picked from the shallows, made slippery with ocean.

There are flat planes of wood for resting palms on the Westport chairs, weather-beaten docks contrasting with the polished brightwork rails to be grasped as one climbs aboard our motor launch Brightline for a cruise in the sea air.

There’s the crisp linen in 88. The cool blush on a chilled glass of Cellardoor chardonnay or Boothbay Brewery ale. The heat of the lobster claw or eared corn lifted from your plate on a summer night. The way sunscreen silkens the caress of an arm or shoulder.

In the gathering dark of December, remember the heft of the driver, teeing off at Boothbay Harbor Country Club, the compact form of a sleeping child carried off to bed before another day bursting with the joy of summer, the brush of the dragonfly fresh from day lilies in the Botanical Garden, landing on your knee.

De Waal is right. If the senses form the dynamic of memory and bring the moments back, it is touch that brings them vibrancy. Something that lasts even when the sun has faded. Something to hold onto until spring.