The place where I live is a lively lush web of fertile farmland and thick forest, woven together by small-town New England centers that lie only a few miles apart, but seem worlds away. The roads wind through the dense canopy as the forest reaches its green arms over the concrete pathways, paved modern versions of the game trails that once were. If you walk the roads at dusk you might catch a glimps of the life that dwells here still; a turtle meanders toward a pond on the far side of the road, a bear ambles into the woods in search of its next snack.
This place where I live is more intimate than my last home among the sweeping skylines of the rocky mountain west. It is gentler; the rolling swaths of deciduous trees and rounded ridges welcome me into the weathered bosom of Western Massachusetts in a way that Colorado never did. I’ve been told I’m an old soul and now, approaching 30, I may have found the landscape to suit.
The Connecticut River plain is the most fertile place I have known. If you plant it, here, it will grow. And so how will I grow now that I’m planted here? Wandering the jagged landscapes of the rockies I grew strong and agile, nimbly negotiating the unrelenting terrain; that was what the land asked of me. Here in Northfield, in the warm embrace of the of the fertile humidity, the land makes a different request. The sould of this land is life itself; it pours over the banks of small streams and seeps into the ground from the bogs. It decomposes into the soil and is relesed into the air that I now breathe and as I breath it in, I wonder: what will I make of this place that I live and what, then will it make of me?