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The breath of spruces

A new novel spinning a tale of trees gains traction on the best-seller lists, and new Dartmouth research says diversity in forests (a mix of pine, oaks and maples – like the ones here on the Midcoast) offer better defense against pine beetle invasions than pitch pine groves alone. So we’ve been thinking again about the interconnectedness of woodlands, the Japanese meditation practice of “forest bathing” (even here in Boothbay) and that elusive “something” that makes Spruce Point a place like no other.

A New York Times story detailed the concept of “souvenirs that mean more than just ‘I’ve been there, suggesting that “what you bring back from a trip can say as much about you as your journey … [that] when we collect souvenirs we do so not to evaluate the world but to narrate the self.” Perhaps your experience of Spruce Point Inn is a souvenir of the idea, “take only memories and leave only footprints”?

As we celebrate another Earth Day, we recognize the stewardship we all feel for Spruce Point has preserved this space for the multiple generations of families to come. The favored spots remain waiting for your return, year after year, to reassure and reward your pilgrimage to Maine. Your stories become our memories.

Yet we also think something of us – beyond the comforts and hospitality – goes with you. Just as David George Haskell has explained that the roots of forests are an interconnected hive of senses and communication enlivened by fungus and life forms that never see the light of day, we also know we depend on the trees for replenishing the oxygen in our atmosphere. Here, the breath of spruces fills your lungs and some of that spruce breath enlivens your blood cells. You take Spruce Point quite literally to heart.

Perhaps that’s why, as another season at the resort approaches, so many guests return to the place that inspired them. The woodland path where ocean breezes carried the scent (the exhalation) of the pines deep into your being.

Perhaps there’s something about that experience in this special place that brings us, like alewives, back to the place our hearts stirred with the breath of spruces. The existential chemistry of “oceanside memories, made in Maine.”