Ice Glen feels like its own world. You walk through a gap in the rock, and the land changes — steps and caves, boulders covered with moss and fern. I am only a short scramble from the Housatonic River, and on a November day the path is wet and green with half-submerged pools and evergreens.
It looks like Endor, says the family who passes me on the path, or the planet where Yoda lives — Dagoba. But I’m thinking of Celtic legends where women protect wellsprings and change shape into barn owls, and trees talk, and the Sidhe, fair folk, spirits live in the hills.
There are still hemlocks growing here taller than my eye can track, though I can see more than one fallen tree on the steep slope, and they’re broad enough in the beam to make me think they were here before my grandmothers were born.
Maybe this path makes me aware of more than one rhythm of time. I stand nose to nose with a feathery fall of moss, and I’m not thinking this is a fantasy world, but that it holds my attention close in this one. And it has its own magic. It’s an indelible place.
I’m carrying it with me when I walk into Hilary Knight’s new exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum (with art from Eloise and more) and see the book cover he imagines for a gathering of fabulous monsters — a being with a human form and tapered horns and green shadows on their skin holds a hand to their heart, carrying a winged frog in their hair, and I wonder whether they would feel at home here.
Late fall weekend rambles
A walk through the Ice Glen brings a touch of magic to a November day, and local bakeries bring home comforts, from Sweet Sam Bakes in Williamstown and Bohemian Nouveaux in North Adams to the Lost Lamb in Stockbridge and Berkshire Mountain Bakery and the Sweetish Baker in Great Barrington …
Events coming up …
Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.