The inner walls were smooth with age. Somehow they’ve worn away here at the center and kept their integrity, so they could holding a hundred feet of the trunk over my head. I was standing inside a tree.
By the scuffed ground around the bowl, I’m not the only small person who has found this magic circle. I was out in the golden hour, walking on the lower loop through Hopkins Forest on a night on the edge of spring, and the light was turning the woods into a new world.
I remember it now, when the sap house is boiling again and Williams College is planning their annual maple celebration. That spring I’d had the chance to walk through the woods with Hank Art and Scott Lewis and Drew Jones, who have cared for the woods for 50 years, and ask them what they see here.
They told me about spring nights when you could have found students from three colleges up by the vernal pools, keeping count of the salamanders. And maybe that’s what I remember now, that energy — finding what lives here that we’ve never seen, making something happen
In my student days the contradance band used to play for the spring festival — Saint Antoine’s Reel, Quebeçois music ripping along at top speed — we’d haul our instruments up the trail to cheer on people checking out the canopy walk, which was one of the first in the world when Meg Lowman made it in the 1990s. And we’d try fresh syrup, still hot from the boiler, poured over vanilla ice cream.
Events coming up …
Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.