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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Riding Around New England, Part 1


            It's an old dirt road, that goes to nowhere. Really. It ends,with a muddy bump at an iron gate. You can go no further. It was muddy, in spots, and rough. It was narrow. The branches brushed against the sides of the car. Shy violets grew along side of it. "The worst road I have ever traveled on," wrote a revolutionary soldier in his diary. "All mud and ruts.." He was slogging through in September of 1777  with General John Stark, from New Hampshire, through Vermont, to fight the British in the Battle of Bennington. Perhaps some things haven't changed much!
          The sun shines. The sky is blue, with white fluffy clouds. The wind is chill. New England has turned green after the snow melted, we had some warm days, and then a few days of rain. The leaves are all unfurled, every different shade of new green that you can imagine. The dandelions bow and nod in the breeze. I konw they are just a pesky weed, but when you see a meadow flooded with those yellow faces, its  beautiful!
  
              The fruit trees are all a blossom. Even here out on a dirt road to nowhere, you see them shimmering in the sun shine, left over from days gone by.Days when this road went to farms and homes and pastures and barns and orchards. I see the stone walls, the granite foundations, the stray daffodils, the huge lilac bushes. A granite post says this was the town center. Here stood a church, a school, a post ofice. Here people walked and rode their horses and buggies. Here they worshipped, learned to read and write. Here they waited for a letter. An old, old cemetery sits in the sunshine. The walls around it are still straight and true. The gate is gone, but the path through it is still discernable. Here people mourned. I ponder the brevity of life. Once a thriving living town. Now a forest. Only a trace of humanity left behind.


                   A hawk soars and dips. Turkey vultures ride the wind with out moving their wings at all. The farmers have begun plowing. The crows hop in the newly turned earth. The river rushes white over the rocks, foaming and swirling.



      There is a tiny house, all made of stones. It's like a fairy tale house. The three bears could have lived here. It has sturdy wooden doors and windows that look out from deep with in the thick walls. I am enchanted. It half  hides behind the trees. You could drive by, and not see it.


            There's a fountain.Cold clear water slashes from it. How many years has it bubbled here? It's a memory fountain. Chiseled into the granite, it says " Barna A. Clark. A true friend and a good man. 1896." What a good report, of a man. Could we ask for more than that?
           A break in the trees reveals the mountain.Just standing there like it always has, patient and strong and beautiful. I know why people live here. And why people like me go riding around looking for these things.

            Did I say it was a road to nowhere? Look where it brought me! I rode into yesterday. I lived on it today. I could see tomorow. Give me a road to nowhere, any time.















 
 
 
  

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