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The present is the gift

Stepping out in the fog this morning to pick up the paper, I stopped for a moment to absorb the scene. Here on the darkest days of the year, there was a glow in the direction of the rising sun. Returning, as all those millennia of winter solstice celebrations bore witness to, (though all their uncertainties endured).

Here in the fog, those uncertainties seemed manifest. Instead of a sparkling morning draped in the new-fallen snow, highlighting the wonderment of the season, we have still-green grass, a few brave leaves emerging from the forest soil and even cherry blossoms in sheltered spots where roots are warmed by comforting granite foundations.

What are we to make of this surreal landscape?

The truth is, stopping to consider the practical realities is this weather offers the ‘stopfulness’ we speak of so often here at Spruce Point Inn. The soft drip from the spruces is a reminder that all is calm. There are no icy roads between us and family, no cancelled flights impeding our progress toward reunion and auld lang syne. The temperature warms the “cup of kindness,” the greetings exchanged at the post office, the gas station, the market, as those last minute errands send us out into the world of light and life and laughter.

In the mists here in Boothbay Harbor we find echoes of the “oceanside memories made in Maine” and hope the pause in the normal routine – whether reinforced by good weather, or simply by good cheer – finds all of our extended family of friends with those they love, and “home.”

“Christmas future is far away; Christmas past is past.” The present is the gift.