The father of a dear, old childhood friend never liked to go back by the way he’d come. While I’ve fallen in love with the “loop walks” described in the fabulous little book I Left my Sole in Vermont (Nicole Grubman), I’ve also always been a firm believer in the fact that returning by the way I came was, if I let it just be so, an entirely different journey.
So I wanted to “journey back” into some photographs of I made a month ago in North Carolina on a walk with a dear friend. Knowing how much I loved trees, he wanted to show me a very special old Sycamore he’d come across. Given that we have only a few planted trees of this species in Central Vermont—they are native 100 miles south—I’ve always been enchanted by them.
The old tree Daryll showed me was absolutely enchanting! From a multi-stemmed trunk to the modeled bark to a root-mass straight out of Wind in the Willows, I was moved by this particular tree and how magnificently varied life on our planet can be!
As if that was not enough, as we sat on a nearby bench marveling about how some seem to regularly cross between this world and others just beyond, Daryll spotted a large hawk. I stood to get a better view and it flew silently away among the trees. That, in turn, caused me to see what had been in front of my unseen the whole time: a Witch Hazel in full bloom!
In a world of remarkable life forms, surely this is one of the most remarkable as it blooms in the winter!
To complete the “loop journey” of this blog post, I return by way of yesterday here in Vermont where I saw another Witch Hazel bush in full bloom, but covered in snow: