Plucking the Golden Apples of the Sun
Looking out from the coast of Maine, it’s hard not to see September as a slowing down. As a sort of last hurrah once the hot blaze of summer is turned down to embers. Yet that quiet time holds the wonder, just as the glowing coals can mesmerize, begging the sweet dalliance of some more.
For those who have the time to savor September at Spruce Point Inn, this is the golden season. Almost too obvious a cover to consider delving too deeply into its pages. Yet for the lingerers, this is the time to drive the backroads with the top down on the roadster. To travel at the speed where stopping at the whim of an antiques barn or harvest farm stand affords discoveries that enliven lifetimes.
Where is the gold of autumn in Boothbay?
It lies in the setting sun, as the angle of the equinox scatters more of the light in the spectrum, leaving the colors of flame. Or the flash of a gold leaf name on the sternboard of a sloop at anchor, reflected in the still-warm waters of the bay.
It’s the gold of maple and beech leaves, glowing when backlit against a cobalt sky. (The effect enhanced the complementary opposites of purply-blue and orange-yellow on the color wheel. And by their contrast with the dark spruces that surround them on our Woodland Path.)
It is the gold of that harvest on our tables: corn and sweet peppers, tiny heirloom tomatoes and yellow onions. And the apples in varieties brought by sea captains from Ireland or England to the Midcoast, or blended in their orchards in the 1800s.
It is the liquid gold of a Cellardoor late harvest gris or a Funky Bow IPA meant for blues musings on the Deck on a warm October evening.
It’s the goldenrod along the byways, and the orchestrated rows of chrysanthemums, ranging from yellow to copper to burgundy. And if you’ve ever attended an autumn wedding at Spruce Point, You’ve seen the seductive beauty of an autumn palette, interpreted in everything from the bridesmaids’ gowns and bouquets to the chef’s painstakingly crafted hors d’oeuvres and amuses bouches. A Maine-made fairy house for grownups, spun of vines and visions that a little girl had harbored for a decade.
Autumn gold is an elusive treasure that’s not meant to hold in your hand, but in your memory. It’s the amber in which we embed those “oceanside memories, made in Maine.” They’re the bits gemologists call “inclusions” – and we can think of no better word to describe the moments made more priceless from being shared.
All these things and more become part of the golden season. The season, perhaps, that Yeats meant when he penned: “And pluck till time and times are done…The golden apples of the sun.”