Above is a slightly altered picture from yesterday's lowering sun phase approximately a half hour before sunset. Stand still with me for a few minutes here at the Enfield lookout point, won't you? We're overlooking a vast body of water called the Quabbin Reservoir. This is a primary source of Boston drinking water. The link I selected tells of towns Lost by way of deliberately sinking them. Everything you see above, beautiful as it is, exists as a false landscape that was manufactured so that a roiling metropolis' human population 70 miles away could sustain their need for drinkable/safe water as the decades rolled by.
[as just one example the hilly peninsulas chaining one after the other as far as the eye sees are actually submerged mountain peaks.]
That said The Quabbin is an undeniably beautiful place to visit and wander around at length. I lightened the pictures for this post because so many I know to be reading here constitute a Tree Crowd. And there are most certainly seemingly endless crowds of trees telling the story of what has Become here at the reservoir park. Also of note: the peninsula on the left side of the top image is off limits to humans. This is a place where the eagles come to nest and raise their young. Birders with enormous scope lenses dominate the parking and first-row viewing spaces once these raptors have been spotted heading north.
Yesterday in the later afternoon J. and I drove out to the Pioneer Valley for a seasonal ritual of great meaning to us. Along the way I figured I'd take some pictures of the Boston area's primary water supply because even though it's not moving water it's certainly very significant water indeed. It's also sacred ground for local fishermen and home to innumerable groves of vibrant birches and a pleasantly spooky long-abandoned apple orchard. Since 9-11 anywhere remotely close to the water has been on lockdown or actively monitored by state employees in boats constantly on the prowl.
I have vivid memories of what it was like here in the direct aftermath of an occasion when MA figured prominently in Security Failure news of huge magnitude. That's because - macro to micro - in the same unprecedented window of experience I spent a great deal of time here. This is the place - and it was the time - where/when I first began to actively merge the sciencey part of my nature interests with the vibrational certainties I'd yet to collate very effectively. It's how I found personal stability and meaning during a time when so many people I knew kept asking me how they could/should find it.
below see the Eagle Zone in its entirety.
As twilight fell we drove through a great many of our history's familiar haunts. Amherst has strong meaning beginning with the sixth month mark of our initial merging together. And - two months in between not-being and being-All - I was staying in nearby Hadley when I realized ALL OF A SUDDEN that I was deeply in love with J. and drove all over the rural highways looking for a pay phone on which to call and privately tell him Back There in the shared hometown I had recently left for good and all.)
Yesterday was once the future. And within it - all these years later - we arrived at a stop sign directly across the road from a house and property we've kept track of in an automatically loving way for the last few arcs of our story. In its yard is a Beech tree I've bonded with a couple of extra-memorable times. And in point of fact I have waaay too many pictures earmarked to include in a post about The Silent Communicator sometime in the new year. Yesterday a large truck blocked any decent view of it. So I looked at the house and how it's changed since I had opportunities to examine certain portions of it in a close-up fashion.
When we got home I looked up the listing because our price guessing had been all over the map. In the end we amalgamated everything and estimated something pretty close to the asking price. So there's a pointless skill to hone, eh? price is right scenarios for things that have no bearing on one's own life. And reading the realtor's layout description gave me serious vertigo. Just to see the place described as a normalized home-life setting as, no doubt, originally intended. I wondered if the yard still contained a sizeable Chicken compound.
[this place is known to us because our son lived there during his college years with 9 other people. Every semi-private alcove of space that could be used as a bedroom was deemed to be such in order to keep the individual sliding scale rent rates as low as possible. Fourteen years ago the three of us spent Christmas day together in the otherwise empty house there. But evidence of extensive and frenetic habitation was all around us on that switched-plans day. One of T's roomates had their dog sitter bail at the very last moment and he agreed to stay there for the animal's wellbeing. Shortly before eleven on Christmas Eve our family plans pivoted for what proved to be a memorable holiday tale we enjoy re-telling to this day - heavy emphasis on the dog and the way she and J. took to each other like Long Losts.]
This morning I woke up wondering who might have the means and vision to buy this place and either make it the home and studio it once was or revert to using it as an income base for the very classic MA rite of young adulthood life lived among kindred peers in an old farmhouse loaded in equal measure with charm and windy drafts. Every time I imagined people with the means for either I further imagined these people had a child. And the child ran straight to the Beech tree when the family first toured the [extensive] gardens. And the way the child hugged the tree and leaned back to stare up at it made their parents smile at each other. Yes. This is their Place. Screw one of their older siblings foolproof moneymaking plan of letting yet another generation of students run rampage. They'd figure it out to the bare bone - rent out the studio to a low key grad student and set about having a life they meant to live as deliberately as possible.
I wondered if it could (still) be possible: if a specific magnificent tree and a child not yet entirely shuttered by Devices could be destined for mutual companionship for a very long time to come. Still. Still. Could that still happen? Don't know if I'm able to actively believe it could and will but I'm certainly inclined to wish for such a lovely wish to be made real.
I am probably one of the least happy-ending dependent/Hallmark channel sort of people I know. But far more importantly I want that magnificent tree to remain in place and authentically valued by a human companion. And for that alliance to mean, on many levels of the deepest kind, absolutely everything to somebody quite young who has so much to figure out and survive largely because their human predecessors quite deliberately chose to drop the ball time after time.
Last week when I visited the river I took many pictures. In between two images of ice-encrusted river bank the above image appeared. I thought of posting it as an Other contribution to the re-connection but also thought doing so lacked a viable context. Then I thought: wait until it's time to make a wish publically. Huh? but now that quiet inner suggestion makes a little bit of sense.