Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving, Hike, & Memories

Wow, lots of large photos in this post, one might think that I am trying to punish blog readers who have dial-up internet connections. Sorry folks :)

... and here are some things I am thankful for this past year:

  • The library and a new-found love of reading.
  • The results of the mid-term elections.
  • Paying off my car (which has stayed reliable) and a general lessening of financial debt all around.
  • Learning to gain better control my mind in order to keep it quiet, still, and receptive when it needs to be.
  • My family.
  • The wisdom & insight that my sister has brought into my life, which as also resulted in my deeper understanding of my family and the world around us.
  • Excellent health.
  • More friends who seem to help bring out the best side of me.
  • Emotional healing, I've not exactly attained complete inner peace but I've come a long way.
  • Mild autumn weather & scenic surroundings throughout my excursions in the outdoors.
  • Without the aid of medication, winning most of my battles with the depression that has plagued me these last few years.
  • Forging a fresh connection to life and parts of me which I thought were irretrievably lost years ago.
  • The beauty of rural New England.
  • Renewed faith in goodness and the positive side of things.
  • The Religious Society of Friends: the enlightenment, spiritual healing, and positive energy I've experienced as a result of the various meetings I've attended. I have been reminded that there is something pure, good, and right out there... which is not bound to any single religion and it has the capacity to give knowledge & wisdom; getting one in touch with the divinity hiding beneath this complicated, protective shell that many of us wear; healing the wounds inflicted by those who do not understand the big picture.
  • A relatively peaceful environment at my work place.
  • New furniture.
  • The wisdom to know when to walk away from a problem that no amount of skill or effort will fix.
  • Decent, dependable roommates.
  • A good pair of hiking boots.
I headed over to my parents' house for the usual Thanksgiving Day meal and I brought back enough leftovers to give me a piece of the holiday for the next week's worth of lunch breaks at work. I also decided to go on a 3 hour hike to view many of my childhood/teenage hang-outs to reminisce a bit and collect photo memories. My hike today lead me down some of the old trails that I used to traverse when I was 12 years old and just looking for a way to escape for a while... Sometimes my little brother came along. I remember these times fondly, though I was a bit disappointed to see extensive logging activity on some of what used to be the more scenic parts. At least the logging seems to have been done in a somewhat mindful fashion... selectively cutting down only what is needed and leaving healthy, half-grown trees every 5-10 feet so that these areas will recover within the decade.

Thanksgiving Eve: a panoramic view of a beautiful sangria-pink sunset on the west side of my town, taken from the bank of the river.

I laid back on a boulder and enjoyed this view of some bare oaks poking at the sky, almost seeming to want to catch the impending snow.

An old farm house on a back-woods plot. Tragically, starting to fall into disrepair.

The dirt driveway leading away from the farmhouse, down to the dirt road which I used to live on.

Recent beaver activity near the old beaver pond. It seems they've been rather industrious... these trees are twice as thick as my leg.

This pond was here when my family first moved to New Hampshire and my brother & I spent countless hours here catching newts, frogs, tadpoles and picking water lily blossoms to take home. Notice the beaver lodge in the middle. This pond almost disappeared in my mid-teen years after they trapped and relocated the beavers due to their road-culvert-plugging activities... well, it looks as though they have come back in full force.

Scenic old farm belonging to one of my parents' neighbors.

One of the swimming holes that my brother and I often used to beat the summertime heat.

Another swimming hole with several different views.

Until a few years ago, there was a HUGE old beech tree, about 3 feet in diameter, mounted to the left of the boulder, overhanging this deep bend in the river. I used to sit on the roots with my feet in the water, fishing for trout. There was one summer that I refused to swim in this particular location because I saw a snapping turtle the size of a wash tub milling around in the mud on the river bottom.

*Sung to the tune of "I Got Rhythm"* Rusted car-wrecks, links of stove-pipe, no more windows, they will not run anymooooooooore...
Old classic cars sitting at the edge of a field. I'd love to know where these cars have been and where they were driven before ending up like this.

A trout pond in which my brother and I used to swim, under the radar of a grouchy townie who didn't like children on his property (but had no compunction about allowing rowdy groups of ATV & snowmobile riders free reign). I do believe that my little pet snapping turtle may have found a home here too >:)

Another vehicle that looks like it has seen better days.


√örsula Starke said...

It's very nice your blog, very nice. I'm so happy to have found this place in the web. I love your photos to. I send you love and peace from Chile. Bye!

mike ashborn said...

Hi there. I appreciated reading your list of things to be thankful for. Here in the UK your national Thanksgiving passes us by completely, but your personal thanksgiving was very moving for me, and your part of the world looks so beautiful. I'm glad you've still got faith in the basic goodness of things. In that God created you and me, means we have alot of it. I look forward to more of your postings.

Richard Bourbon said...

Lovely photos, mate. Gives me the deep desire to discover rural New England for myself some day.

nonsequitur said...

Ursula, Mike, & Richard, awwww, thanks guys :)