Here in New England, it’s officially fall. Time, alas, to let go of my favorite season. But we’ve been blessed with summer weather these past few days, a parting gift. Al and I took advantage of the 80s temps and sunny skies to enjoy a long afternoon hike on the Central Massachusetts Rail Trail.
It was a fitting way to savor the season’s end—as well as a meaningful way to appreciate the beauty in our own backyard, especially on a weekend marked by worldwide demonstrations to protest inaction on climate change and the deeply disquieting news that a third of North America’s birds have vanished since 1970, due to loss of habitat, declining insect populations, pesticides, and predators (read, cats).
The Rail Trail includes the ruins of a former woolen factory, its tumbled stone foundations enveloped by encroaching forest. A rusted turbine sits in a sun dappled clearing like an abandoned sculpture. The remaining wall of a dam presides over goldenrod. Nature has its ways, both subtle and severe, of reminding us that it will always have the last word. It’s long past time that we start listening, hard.
Please walk with me . . .