THE FIELDS ARE ALIVE and moving, season to season, year to year. Nothing is exactly as we remember it.
Strawberries were once grown in the foreground. Untended, it was taken over by pickerel grass. Later it became a ball field before reverting to a mixture of grasses and flowers: black-eyed Susan and wild geranium, buttercup and clover.
Millions of lives traversed, nested, or burrowed in it, mostly unseen until the field was shorn by a clattering mowing machine in mid-summer, creating a mass, temporary exodus.
There’s a pond now on the left at the base of the hill, bordered by cattails and iris, home to the occasional heron. You don’t see many turtles and frogs these days. The high-bush blueberries are gone, but there still are pockets of elderberry and, of course, tangles of bittersweet and burdock and blackberry canes around the borders.
Pyramids of bright red squash once burst into flame on the far hillside every fall, lighting up like beacons in the late afternoon sun. They abruptly gave way to timothy and alfalfa, then to house lots. Before that it was an apple orchard.
The stately elm trees along the road have been gone for decades. The ancient, twisting maple survived them, but now it, too, is gone. The porch from which this view was taken was later removed.
Still the view beckons.
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MY DEAR FRIEND Greg passed away yesterday after a courageous, years-long battle with cancer. He was a brave and kind man, well loved by all who knew him. May his memory never fade.