Field of Dreams

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Once the new white pine forest that stretches out before me was part of a larger field that belonged to an old farm. The woods cascade down a steep hill on the east side of the house and run parallel with the brook that empties into another that crosses my property in the wetlands below.

 

Over a period of thirty – five years I have chosen to allow nature to decide how best to use this field and she turned it into a beautiful white pine forest. I created walkways through the young trees and moss covered pine strewn ground, and now, even during the hottest summer days a stroll under the pine boughs that create a protected arch overhead, is always refreshingly cool. The sweet scent of pine, moist earth, and nearby water creates a longing in me to breathe this perfume forever…The paths are like serpentine ribbons crisscrossing one another. Some take me to the brook, others climb a knoll I call cedar hill. Wild apple and cherry trees, chokecherries, hobble bush and partridge berry provide fruit for the animals that pass by, as do blueberries and brambleberries that are scattered on the hill in late summer. In some protected thickets wild animals bed down to sleep…

 

One path leads directly down to the remnant of the working farm field, the only place that I now keep open. Taking this particular path is a walk I never tire of because it is dark and cool and heavily wooded. At the end of the path a golden light pierces the darkness. And in an instant I am out of the forest feeling the familiar surprise! Now I am walking into a diminutive rounded field that is ringed with wild apple trees and roses, asters and goldenrod in the fall. In the center of this field are a cluster of crabapple trees that are so heavy with berries that a couple of branches are bowed and broken. The pear tree wears a crown of pears…

 

I reflect on the field’s brief season. Lilacs thrived here in May when wild violets with heart shaped leaves spread their white – throated flowers over the ground. In June the field was covered with lupine spires of every shade of pink, white, yellow and purple. Roses caught the gentlest breeze. Swamp iris clumps of deep blue and pure white flowers (that I call angel wings) provide a feast for my flower hungry eyes later during the month. When the lemon lilies bloom in early July the entire field turns buttery yellow and the intoxicating scent from this show is enough to make me swoon. Delicate pink milkweed clusters blossom during the heat of late July, another impossibly sweet fragrance… In August wild strains of goldenrod begin to create a stunning accent when viewed against a deepening cobalt sky … and by late September wild asters finish the season coaxing pollinators into deep lavender blue flowers. It is hard to believe that nature and I planted all these flowers together!

 

Every year I am hesitant to have the field cut. But I must if I want to keep this small oasis open for the deer to graze over the winter. Because of the field’s northeastern exposure it is also a wonderful place for me to watch the northern lights, meteor showers, a rising full moon, and in the winter alpine glow sets the mountain on fire. Still, I hesitate to flatten the impossibly tall foliage…

 

Last night the field was mowed even as part of me winced. Afterwards, while wandering around the hay –strewn ground I thanked the last

IMG_2106.JPG flowers that were now in shreds around my feet. I also looked across the field towards Bryant Mountain whose few clouds were pasteled in rose and lavender. I breathed deeply taking such pleasure in being able to wander through the open area that now stretched around me without parting a waist high jungle, knowing that once again I had made the right choice!

 

Every home – place needs a “field”, however small to imagine what it’s like to touch the stars, to trace the patterns of Cassiopeia and the Great Bear overhead – To imagine and nurture wild dreams that can manifest if one believes they could …

 

Every Living Being needs a Field of Dreams.

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