Broad Brook is running high for September. We’re up here at the top of White Oak Road, just on the line between one state and another, and we’re taking time on a weekday morning, because this is a holiday for you. These are your Days of Awe … and I’m glad you asked me along.
Today it’s still summer, but the morning has a touch of cool air in it, just enough so that walking uphill feels pleasantly warm. When the ground levels off, we lean against an oak tree so broad we can’t reach around it, even the two of us.
Now we’re up here, the path is easy walking. It runs along the stream through the hemlock trees, and it’s a flat and gentle way. The slopes rise steeply on either side, and the sun is burning through the clouds.
We’re talking about why we live here and how many wildflowers grow within an easy walk of our dooryards that we’ve never even seen yet. Last spring you showed me Angelica up here, and on the path somewhere above our heads I stumbled on lady’s slipper and trailing arbutus. Now you find the vivid orange lobes of chicken of the woods mushrooms, and we rest on our heels to look at the beads of water in the folds of them.
We’re talking about home — what it means to feel at home here, and I think about what it would be like to feel at home here under the hemlock trees as I do in the kitchen kneading anadama bread.
It feels good to hand questions back and forth like this. Time can shift on a day when we take a morning just to walk. Summer has been running full-tilt, and the season is about to turn, and for all the hardness of this year, right now we have a kind of breathing space. To all who celebrate it now, happy new year.