Back to Benedict Pond

I got up at 6am on Sunday to get to my pond. After such a tremendous response from  being Freshly Pressed on the WordPress homepage, I was motivated to get back to my bliss and continue my love affair with the natural wonders at Benedict Pond. I was very rewarded by my early rising. I stopped at Stockbridge Coffee on my way and as it shows in the picture, I was delighted to have something warm to join me in the very chilly morning air.

Leaving Seattle last April I did not plan on being on the road this long, so my wardrobe of winter clothing is minimal. I have a warm coat, but I definitely need to add gloves and thicker pants to my repertoire. I had to keep moving to stay warm. Winter is descending in the Berkshires and the pond and I are readying for the chill. I wonder if it will freeze totally over? I assume so and though I’m not anxious to move into the winter deep-freeze, I can’t wait to watch the changes.

I was on a mission to explore the beaver population, and though I didn’t see one of them, their diligent work was in evidence all around. It was too cold for me to sit in silence long enough to hope to coax them from hiding. So I contented myself with taking pictures of fallen, gnawed trees and lodges, and humming to myself. I heard this week that people who hum a lot are happier and live longer than those that don’t. I happen to be a natural hummer, and I do it unconsciously, along with whistling, and drive my friends crazy I’m sure. At least now I can embrace it and say it’s good for my health!

An interesting phenomenon happened while I was quietly watching the pond. Wind would gust and send little ripples across the pond, then change direction on a dime and whoosh another way. It was like watching a time-lapse video of the sun moving at warp speed, and kind of like watching a million water skater bugs dart seamlessly in unison around on the surface. The ripples caught the light and made it look like a glowing shadow was traveling around the pond like a uniform bunch of falling dominos. I would need a video to describe it perfectly, but it was incredible and something I’ve not seen before.

I found a new path into the woods and came upon many downed trees. The beavers have been busy. The wood chips scattered at the base of the trees were fresh and one large tree was dripping tears that brought compassion out of my heart and reminded me of the Ent tree creatures in the Tolkien trilogy that walked, talked and moved. I desperately hope they do not have feelings. To have your bark systematically chipped away day after day by cute, fuzzy, big-toothed varmints would be a horrible way to die. My imagination is quite vivid and outlandish, I guess that’s why I like acting so much. You definitely have to be able to tap into that imaginative side.

Speaking of acting. I was asked to be in a play here in the Berkshires. I am ecstatic about it. The offer came out of the blue, when I was very content to put that part of my dream on the shelf while I worked on getting the Shakespeare going in the high schools. But to my utter surprise and delight, Kevin Coleman, director of Education and one of the original founders here at Shakespeare & Company invited me into an ensemble to perform Bertolt Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle. I will be writing more about that in future posts as I am sure it will be an event full stories to share. And it means I will definitely be staying in the Berkshires through the performances in mid December.

But I did want to say thank you to everyone for your lovely support of my writing and journey. I thoroughly enjoy knowing there are so many kindred souls out there willing to share and dream and encourage a stranger and friend. It is wonderful to see myself reflected in your comments. You make my world even more beautiful. The James Blunt song “You’re Beautiful” comes into my mind…

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.

You’re beautiful, it’s true.

I saw your face in a crowded place,

And I don’t know what to do,

‘Cause I’ll never be with you.

But sharing with you in the virtual world is pretty tremendous! Thank you.

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