SO many emotions today. It is the last day I’ll be in New York for a while, and the end of an era, as the last week has been dedicated to packing up my mom and getting her ready for her new home, in a condominium a couple of miles away. The good news, it is the same area, the tougher part, it is not the house my siblings and I have called home for almost our entire lives. It is just so beautiful here…these pictures taken over the last few days. Dawn is magnificent, daytime is lovely, dusk is wondrous, and nighttime is beautiful. I guess I am in love. In love with this place, in love with this season that encourages us to snuggle up to one another and try our hand at cooking, in love with this house, and in love with the woods that surround it.
I took a walk at dusk to savor every last moment, and was struck with how well my senses know this place. I thanked the trees that have brought the sound of the wind to my ears for so many years. When I think of the sound of wind in the trees, it is the wind in these very trees that I think of. I thanked the cold, so fresh and strong, cutting against my cheeks. When I hunch my shoulders up against the cold, it is this specific New York chill that I know so well. I thanked the season, when everything lets go and allows itself the look of death as it rests, waits and simply sits in place. When I think of the stark beauty of winter, empty branches framing the full moon, they are the branches I have watched grow taller and taller, decade by decade, until they stand as they do tonight, tall, regal, and somehow knowing. Black ink trails against the glowing blue of the sky as earth trades day for night. I started hearing faint bells…wind chimes? I listened as I walked, mystified and intrigued. Eventually, after standing stock still and peering up at tree branches to find a heretofore unseen wind chime I saw movement in the woods. A person. A moment later, a light, almost like a firefly, accompanied by louder bells. I realized someone had attached bells to their dog’s collar and was walking in our woods. Overcome by all the walks I have taken there, with my brothers and sister, friends, parents, I simply stood there, tears prickling my eyes. I am so glad someone walks there now. Alone, with their dog, enjoying the same woods, sounds, smells and sights that I have. It makes me happy to know that. In just a few days, they will be right if they think of Robert Frost’s words: “Whose woods are these, I think I know, his house is in the village, though. He will not see me walking here to watch his woods fill up with snow.” For me, it is the last lines: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”