Frost’s Old Woods
A visit in memory
April 06, 2020 • 3 minutes
I took a break from writing over the weekend—not because I had nothing to write, but because resting the writing bone seemed like a good idea. But now that I try to write again I feel like I lost the thread I had found. Or maybe it’s that nothing has changed from where I was on Friday.
Over the weekend I watched the lizards and birds outside in the sun. I made chaga tea over a twig stove from a chaga conk I found in Robert Frost’s old stomping grounds. I don’t often use the chaga from that conk, it’s more of a keepsake, but I guess one day I will use it all eventually. When I found the chaga, I didn’t even know I was walking in Frost’s old woods until I saw a sign about them.
When I was there, in Frost’s old woods, all the open hay meadows had filled in with meadowsweet. It was summer, in fact the day after my birthday, which I had spent alone in Eastern Vermont camped in a forest. I was running away from something terrible, that I had to go back to after this brief sojourn. But for those few days, I managed to forget about all the pain and strangeness I had to return to, though they cast a shadow on my mind, and even though I love sleeping in a tent at night, I didn’t sleep well.
I noticed the meadows near Frost’s old woods were on their way to becoming forest again. And there were other meadows nearby, that had not been filled in by brush and small trees, that were still cut once every few years. They were dense with hundreds of wildflowers.
There is a big deal writing retreat near Frosts Woods just a little further up the valley, called Bread Loaf I think. And there were hundreds of cars in a giant lot filling the grounds in front of the old farm buildings that people now wrote and slept in. I wandered around the grounds, and probably could have walked right into the workshop classes if I had wanted to. In the winter Bread Loaf turns into a nordic skiing center.
In Frost’s old woods everything was going wild again. Yet just down the road, there was the big expensive hard-to-get-into retreat center, filled with people trying to… what? I sit here, trying to make sense of each moment, and then turn it into words. Maybe that’s what they are doing too. Yet, the trees and plants that grow in those overgrown meadows, that even now are probably leafing out, they just grow.