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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bridges of Franklin County

I went for a ride with my husband in his BMW Z3 today.  The top was down.  Between the sun and the car’s heater, the fingers of this cool March day never touched me, even when the car opened up to speed on the highway.  I particularly liked taking the curves as we wended our way to higher elevations.  The carefully-designed contour of the carseat hugged me, keeping me cradled as the car steered first to the left, then to the right.  My seatbelt held me secure in the seat on the rare occasions that the car eased to a stop at stop signs and stop lights.
The sky was as blue as a robin’s egg.  What started as an observation became a pursuit.  In the short distance of a mile or so, I noticed that there were three houses that had stars -- of different sizes -- affixed to the outside. That prompted me to look for a pattern of some sort.  In an hour ride, I counted star after star, three eagles, two flags, and innumerable dry or dusty Christmas wreaths.  One house had four or five geometric rectangles painted in careful symmetry. After seeing so many ways people choose to decorate their houses I am led to believe that we New Englanders truly like to accessorize.  
The ride was a pleasurable interlude, but as with many things, it took a toll. (Three tokens as described in The Spoon Theory meets The Token Theory.)  Typically, sitting is anathema to me; structural issues with my spine make it painful and later, it is difficult to walk.  However, I appreciated the chance go for a ride.  It offered me a way to gain a different perspective than the one I am accustomed to.  As we approached a bridge that spanned the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls, MA, I looked down on the glacial potholes that formed 14,000 years ago.  Just a glimpse of them left a lasting awareness of the marvels that surround us in everyday life.  The car hiccuped over the lip of the bridge unto the macadam of downtown Shelburne Falls.  We headed south from there, passing hundreds and hundreds of trees that have been tapped for maple syrup.  We passed a few sugar houses with the evaporating steam billowed from rooftop vents.
This affirmation of spring on the first day of Daylight Savings Time will lift my spirits for days to come.  

Shelburne Falls, MA

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