Resilience in mud season
March is the sort of month in northern New England that gets one thinking about resilience. It’s a time for taking stock of things and looking ahead to the first day of Spring as if winter were a tunnel from which we’re just emerging. Thanks to that fangled (i.e. no longer new) contraption Daylight Savings Time, there’s another hour of sunlight left in an afternoon to get one’s bearings and see what emerges from the melting snow piles.
Of course, we’ve been busy inside, looking at each room from the perspective of guests who will occupy it, questioning the Yankee wisdom of “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” Sometimes starting fresh is best. But the landscape and the brightening ocean draw us outward.
This morning’s paper brought a good reflection of life on the Mid-Coast – and why we love it here. The summaries, which we read online, ranged from the upcoming program on chainsaw use to the return of red-shouldered hawks. Resilience again. The hawks join their wintering cousins – Coopers and Sharp-shinning hawks, kestrels and bald eagles – coincident with the emergence of the chipmunks we noticed on the stone wall the other day. The chainsaws come on as the downed tree limbs become visible. Patches of the woodland path are passable again as the leaf litter sponges up the meltwater to make a soft padding for exploring sneakers under the green canopy of summer.
Resilience draws us through mud season and past the post-holiday slurry of unformed intentions to settled plans. Easy to do in 2018 but imagine 1729 and the band of Scots-Irish who arrived in Boothbay, intent on permanence, determined to press ahead. Daunted by a rocky coastline and even more rock-filled pastures.
We were rereading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods the other day, the author’s experience of the storied Appalachian Trail (whose 2150 mile length from Georgia to Maine ends some 200 miles from here, at the peak of Katahdin). His biggest fear was bears, while acknowledging attacks were rare (“it’s not like they signed a treaty, you know…”). In Maine, they do begin to stir from hibernation, about now, and vigilance tending trash and birdfeeders suggests a different sort of resilience. Maine is nearly 90 percent forest, after all.
But the trees and coast are why you come here. At a time when ‘forest-bathing’ (an experience, offered locally, that originated in Japan, of going into the woods in a mindful way) has captured so many imaginations as a way to center oneself in calm, Spruce Point and the spruces offer refuge. We give you “oceanside memories made in Maine” and plan to do so for quite a while. Around here, spring may be mud season, but soon our world will take the familiar shape that welcomes you. And that’s resilience you can count on.