brown, barren, baron?

I went for a quick hike in New Marlborough, MA last week. I was looking for Dry Hill Trail, one that I failed to find last year because of a snowstorm. This year the snow has held off and the trails are covered in only a blanket of dry leaves, but it was still a challenge to find. In the process of failed turns and roads that lead to infinity I looked to my left and saw this view…

Stone Manor, New Marlborough, MA on the way to the trail

Stone Manor, New Marlborough, MA on the way to the trail

It never ceases to amaze me that the Berkshires are filled with beautiful castles and mansions in out-of-the-way, hidden places. It sets my imagination afire to wonder who built them, who lives in them and when I will be invited to some baron’s private estate. I looked up this beauty’s name, Stone Manor,  to find that it is now a private addiction recovery center. No invitations coming from there for me, sigh.

I finally found Dry Hill trail and had the whole thing to myself all afternoon. Much of the trail is rocky and a bit treacherous with the leaves covering them. I couldn’t tell when I was stepping on earth or slippery stone and consequently rolled my ankle 3 times before I decided I better take it slow. IMG_4360

I love the stark beauty and stillness of the Berkshire winters. I found a small abandoned nest hanging right near the trail and marveled at the diligent work that went into it’s creation and WHY build it right next to the path!?

The trail lead up to a lookout and even though the weather was overcast I enjoyed sitting a few minutes breathing in the barren view…reminding me this holiday season of the Virgin Mary’s barren womb. Though seemingly lifeless it became a fertile ground for growth.

Speaking of Christmas, it has been another year of diving into traditional delights with both feet. Gift giving, carols, sing-a-longs, stockings, baking, cooking, visiting family and friends were the usual highlights. My daughters and I read aloud a silly play called The Butterfingers Angel complete with a talking tree, sheep, cow and Scandinavian Louts that spoke in incomprehensible grunts. A delightful way to spend Christmas Eve.IMG_4396

Wherever you call home I hope your holidays were not barren and if they were there is the promise of another season to come soon. These brown Berkshire trees will be bursting with color again before we know it, and light and life will return with abundance. Get out for a walk in the woods and see for yourself.

“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Happy Bounteous New Year!


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