It was a beautiful, bright, breezy New England afternoon. The kind of weather that explains why anyone with an ounce of sense would put up with a month like last January with its weekly major snow storms--or this past July with its 12.4" of rain. The clouds were scudding across the sky--serious gray-bottomed clouds, not those fluffy cotton-balls. The leaves were popping; the birds were singing.
Frost and I decided to walk up Joy Road toward Sabe Spalding's farm so I could pick up my 1951 Ford tractor which the maestro had put in shape for another season of moving wood and plowing snow. Joy Road is a scenic back road in Woodstock lined with ancient stone walls and ceilinged over with maple, oak and birch branches. Whenever I walk in these northern Connecticut woods Robert comes with me. I love his poetry. I recite his verse as I walk--seasonally appropriate verse: : "The Road Not Taken" in Fall and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" in Winter. Sophie and Bowen have heard me say "And miles to go before I sleep" or "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" so often I imagine them rolling their eyes...Oh, no! Not again...
When I walk these woods, Robert comes with me, and so do Sophie, Bowen, Nickie and Mack, our 4 dogs who replaced our 2 children when they flew off to Oregon and Spain. I recommend dogs. Maybe not 4, but certainly 2. Dogs are essential on a woods walk. They are guides into the natural world. Shamans. I watch the joy that flows from them as we hit the trail and cross the stream into the deep woods. Nickie kicks his back legs off to the right as he runs. The other 3 display their own joyous eccentricities as we move around the trails.
So, Robert Frost and 4 dogs. Perfect. Frost wrote a short poem, "Dust of Snow", about a person having a bad day who goes into the woods looking for solace and is healed by Nature through the actions of a bird. I go into the woods for solace most days. And most days I find it. Not from a crow necessarily, but certainly from Robert, Sophie, Bowen, Nickie and Mack.
There's a lot to be thankful for.