By John R. Greenwood
To the end of Hilltop Drive I go. Hilltop Drive the rising road to nowhere and everywhere. It's a place where life begins and where life ends. A spot where quiet dominates and noise is distant and hollow. I walk beyond the end. I perch on a chainsaw-murdered log. I watch nothing and soak in everything. A deer hunter's shot rings out in the woods beyond me, I flinch but remain. A curious hawk swoops in low to see if I am meal worthy. Watching her cholesterol she decides I am not and continues on her way. Cars pass by on lonely Route #9 below. Route #9, the forgotten one, the Route #66 of the Adirondacks. Hilltop Drive is young but spreading. Like a bittersweet vine she wanders off into the forrest grasping ledges and limbs, embedding her blacktop where it doesn’t belong; an asphalt intruder, unwelcome and dark. Unsettled animals scurry around the edges of a civilized world here, sacrificing inches, relinquishing miles. What will happen tomorrow? Only the wind and rain know for sure. They will show up regardless. As this last line is penned, a parade of snow, flurries down upon me. Resting assured, my plight is their plight.
I assembled the piece above from photographs taken of a new road near my home. The area has grown considerably since 1981 when we purchased our little one story ranch for the price of a present day, nicely equipped pickup truck. The question of how much growth is enough is an ongoing tug-of-war we must face. As I was taking photos of the hillside and surrounding area a tired old porcupine waddled to the roads edge as if on cue by the director. The look on his face said he knew I was coming all along.
I loved this, so beautifully said.ReplyDelete
Like a bittersweet vine... this reads as "Anonymous" said, beautifully. I think of Europe and what they consider an old house compared to ours. We are having less and less children, but more and more houses. It doesn't make sense, does it? I can understand wanting to live in beauty like that, but at what cost?ReplyDelete
Oh why do people insist on building such huge houses these days? You were smart to buy when houses were the price of today's pickup trucks and just stay put. Clever! I love the poor disgruntled porcupine. I cant help it. I hate Progress. For I love the Wild so much.ReplyDelete
I have been struggling with the video. I hope everyone was able to see and hear my reading of the piece. If you were not able to get the video to work please let me know. I have been unable to get it on You Tube. I will keep trying. Thank you all for your comments.Delete
Oh this is a wonderful piece. It tugs at my heart as during my long life I have seen so much space eaten up by the McMansions, malls and new highways. I am fortunate as I still live in a wild place but someday this too might be gone. My place could be described as a depressed area by the wealthy but as writer Edward Abbey would describe such a space, "what our economists call a depressed area almost always turns out to be a cleaner, freer, more livable place than most. nice video! -- barbaraReplyDelete