The Ember Glows Brighter as the Story is Retold

Once upon a time…

Four magical words that brighten the eyes of every child, no matter what age.

They are words to conjure with, words that spin memory and hope into stories that play out upon the screen of your mind, flickering with shadows, often silent, but never empty. A private reel of imagination it would be hard for the human experience to be without.

Perhaps that’s why storytellers have held the place of honor at every campfire. Every child’s bedside, holding back the dark. And, at every family dinner table.

In this season of remembrance, as cold winds bend the spruces on the granite Midcoast and oak leaf rattles call the waves to dance on the near shore, we live as much within our minds as in the outside world. We are called to mindfulness. To be in the moment. Yet going about the chores of preparing the Inn for winter – and the feasts to come – we see the past more clearly than the path ahead. We replay moments – “oceanside memories made in Maine” – that were fixed with the emotional adrenaline of our experience. Spruce Point Inn was filled this year with the bright colored whirl of summer. Laughing children, and grownups. Being part of family gatherings marking milestones. Marking our own.

These memories are, indeed, spun-glass bubbles. Yet they endure because they are cherished. Engineered to roll on the waves and float in the tempests, catching dreams in their nets, like the glass balls used to keep fishing nets afloat.

Fingering that smooth stone you gathered on our beach, you are transported to the day, the tide, your companion. From the acorn on your shelf sprouts a mighty oak of sunlight on the woodland path, the smell of spruces, the sun warming your face, the tales of those who silently trod that space from upland hill to sea 10,000 years ago. The sapphire suncatcher holds an August afternoon on the water, azure amber with sea and sky and stories in its depths.

They’re called “mementoes” for a reason. They are the feathers we hold to command attention for a story and its teller.

“Once upon a time, in a land called Maine, where the forest meets the sea, there was a moment to be thankful for…” Its ember glows brighter as the story is retold.