In an idle corner of Massachusetts, Route Two dips along the Connecticut River for a moment, rises to a point in Turner’s Falls, pauses at a flashing red light, than just as fast swoops past Greenfield and out into the the hills of the Berkshires. At the light, a gas station has spread across one corner, a snow mobile dealership goes out of business on another, and a Polish food truck opens on the weekend. On the last quarter, a growth of trees spreads along the high bank of a river forested until Route Two turns into Greenfield. I spent an afternoon amid all of those trees and rocks.
Tag: Robert P. Barsanti
The youngest and I went off-island to take a driver’s test. Nature might be healing from Covid but it takes the Registry of Motor Vehicles a little longer to get back to up to speed than the rest of us do. The brewers were up faster than the restaurants, the restaurants before the health clubs, and the Registry comes dawdling at the end of the line. So, the office in the town building remains shortstaffed, and Registry business either comes zapping over the wires or steaming across the water. So we steamed.
We have had a run of beach days. A puddle of relatively cool and dry air has sat over New England and spilled out over the Atlantic to about a hundred miles south of the island. Sitting on the shore, the southern press of clouds massed and slid by on the southern horizon. The island lucked into a cool pocket, under light northern winds, through the end of the week and the weekend.
One recent morning, the good fishermen of Madaket woke up to a Land Rover Discovery. It was discovered off the end of the Jackson Point Ramp, in eight feet of the North Atlantic. The owner described it as stolen. And sunk.
Nobody gave us America. At best it is a trophy won from years of war. This war may involve guns and Redcoats, or marches and firehoses, or tear gas and pink hats, but we have always been at war with enemies foreign and domestic. The battles swing from Europe and Asia to Pennsylvania and Chicago, but those battles continue. The labor doesn’t end.
On a June evening full of weddings, we drove out to the Sconset Market for an ice cream. The fog remains ascendent in Siasconset, wrapping the homes, the hedge and the trees in winter’s packing. While town was lit with rehearsal dinners and bachelor parties, Sconset slumbered still.
Main Street has many comfortable seats on a Sunday morning. The dramas and excitement of Saturday night have washed or rolled down the cobbles, and Sunday morning comes gleaming up the harbor. It dapples the bricks through the elms, reflects off the gallery windows, and lights up my coffee cup. The air is cool and clear, the traffic light, and the parade interesting.
The traffic doesn’t come in and out of the elementary school as it used to. Parents are spending an extra moment or two with the kids, hoping that they remember how to smear blood on themselves and play dead if the moment occurs. The building has so many doors, so many windows, and hasn’t become the hard target that all of the good schools aspire to be these days.