my last walk home

IMG-20130530-00946One Big Tree.

I meant to post some photos from that last day of radiation, what now feels like ages ago.  It was a glorious day, commencement day, an A-one, O happy day.  But it was also steamy hot, and me being me, I ended up meandering my way home via whatever bits of shade I could find.  Which took me on a curious wiggle-waggle, worth memorializing here.  Good things come to those seeking shade, it turns out.

IMG-20130530-00950This is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s spreading chestnut tree.  His personal one, not the one his village smithy worked beneath, the one Longfellow waxed poetic about.  The blacksmith also worked on Brattle Street, not far from this homestead, which is now a national historic site.  It’s hard to believe this glorious specimen, which towers over everything it surveys, wasn’t part of HWL’s artistic inspiration.

IMG-20130530-00955Not sure why they need a fake coyote here, perhaps to keep the Canada geese away?  Whatever, it serves here as a useful scale.  That is one massive trunk.  Easily fifteen feet in circumference.

IMG-20130530-00956The view from below, looking up.  It is its own ecosystem, this glorious tree.

IMG-20130530-00954 IMG-20130530-00954Behind the house, these gardens. Another grand example of our tax dollars at work.

IMG-20130530-00953There really is a grand plan at work here.  I found this garden sketch and handbook on a bench, in the shade.

IMG-20130530-00957Can you say bucolic?  Of course there would be a bunny seeking refuge in such a lovely spot.

IMG-20130530-00958A few more wiggle waggles under more obliging greenery got me to this historic marker–one that, remarkably, I’d never read.  How can it be that Oliver Wendell Holmes was born just down the street from my house, and I didn’t know?  I pride myself on this sort of information.  My book group recently read David McCullough’s The Greater Journey, about the Americans who traveled to Paris when America was a brand new idea.  Holmes was part of that grand tradition.  Talk about your renaissance men–OWH was a poet, a physician, a professor, and the guy who coined the word anesthesia and named The Atlantic Monthly.  I already knew were he was buried; it’s nice to know that his life began close by as well.

IMG-20130530-00959Almost home, and for this, I forsook the shade.  Too grand a photo op to skip.  Not sure what sort of bird chose this lion’s mouth for nesting, but honestly, isn’t this the best?

IMG-20130530-00967Last image from a great day.  BostonOne concert.  Soundtrack of my youth.  Boston, J.Geils, Jimmy Buffett, on and on they came.  Any time you get to be in the same room with Carol King and James Taylor is a good night in my book.  I was home and in bed long before Steven Tyler led the assembled talent in a Dirty Water sing-off.  Boston, you’re my home! Thanks for rallying us to this epic event, Joanie and Scott.

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