Red sunsets, white sails and Boothbay blue
With the long July 4th weekend ahead, signaling the full bloom of summer on the Midcoast, we’re inevitably thinking “red, white and blue.” So wherever we look we find reflections of star-spangled banners (including, of course, the summer sky) and fireworks joy (around the s’mores pit, in particular).
The red of those sunsets that linger to light an after-dinner stroll down to the water. The brilliant white of mainsails on the Commodore’s Cup fleet at the starting line off Spruce Point (the next race in the series is Sunday, July 3rd). The many shades of Boothbay blue. All celebrate the season and the deep satisfaction we get from the blessings of that shining sea that greets us every morning.
One of the unique aspects of living in Boothbay Harbor, and the rich heritage of Maine and the land that stretches westward, is our intimacy with that ocean. It’s all white sails and blue harbor in July; but in winter when the storms rage we recognize a force of nature that stirs the ancient salt in our blood. At the start of Windjammer Days this week, Boothbay held its annual Fishermen’s Memorial and Blessing of the Fleet. Hymns were sung to remember the 233 souls lost to the sea since local records started to be kept in 1798. A fleet of nearly three dozen boats received the prayers for their protection against “peril on the sea.”
The Maine spirit that makes such moments resonate runs deep in the rivers and the spruces. It’s what draws people here — like our favorite painter Kevin Beers who left Brooklyn to relocate full-time to Thomaston. That, and the red of trucks in side yards (upholding the Yankee maxim of “use it up; wear it out; make it do, or do without”), the white of lighthouses; the blue Atlantic crashing on Monhegan. Kevin has a new show July 1 through July 26 at Gleason Fine Art gallery.
It’s the same “something” that makes it possible to create “oceanside memories made in Maine” at Spruce Point Inn. So find the red, white and blue moments for celebrating that independent spirit, in Boothbay or wherever you find yourself this Fourth, from sea to shining sea.