Peace Break in White’s Woods


July 18, ‘13

When I pulled up to the Litchfield Green this morning I had 7 minutes to spare before showing up at my job, so I took the long way around to my client’s house rather than go through the light and into the line of traffic going west on the state-road.  I hadn’t planned on going through White’s Woods but it was on the way and just too enticing to bypass.  Within a quarter mile loop, there’s Nature and pure peace, so that’s the way I decided to go before getting back onto my original track.

And, of course, once I pulled onto the dirt road, I couldn’t resist making a video of my short journey in which were many way-back memories from the past — as far back as to when I was a small kid with my parents or grand-parents or a teenager with friends or etc etc.

My most prevalent memories had to do with the 13 years I lived in Litchfield before I moved to Torrington.  I lived within 5 minutes distance of the bank above the river where there’s a large pine and a few large rocks.  That was my favorite place to go and I went there often – in the early morning before work or in the late afternoon after work.  I have a few sketchbooks that show I went there frequently in the last 2 years I lived in Litchfield.  I titled these paintings either Matins or Vespers with a date.  Matins being morning prayers, Vespers being evening prayers and praying which I was doing a lot of. 

When I got there this morning, it seemed to me that very little had changed in the 5 or so years since I was last there.  The stones and the trees, as always, looked to me like a gigantic Zen garden, newly swept….

The 2nd to the last time I was there I’d driven down from Torrington and brought my lunch.  While I was eating, I was accosted by 2 men in a bright red pickup truck who were drinking beer and making attempts to ‘talk me up.’  They were vaguely threatening – a 3.5  and rising on a 1-10 scale.  They had me at a disadvantage as they were on the road between me and my car and I was between them and the river.  I’d forgotten my cell phone and had (foolishly!) made the decision not to go back for it.  My knees were like jelly.  I finished my lunch, crunched up the wax paper and told them it was nice talking to them and it was time to get back to work.  I pretended to work and ignore them at the same time, hoping they couldn’t see how my fingers were trembling.  They stayed about 3 more minutes trying to engage in conversation as I continued to focus on my painting and ignore them.  They finished their beer, threw the cans out the windows,  the driver gave a great sigh and slowly drove away.  I didn’t look up from my work until I heard them go around the corner, to the right and up the same hill that finishes the video.

The last time I went there to paint was a few days after I encountered the men in the pickup.  I was armed with a can of Wasp spray and my cell phone but nary a car or truck drove by the whole 2 hours I was there.  I left that day feeling as if I’d reclaimed my peace and sense of well-being so precious to me in this place;  the sense of violation was expiated, the sanctuary swept clean.

I don’t go there any more because I moved over 14 miles away and the cost of gas is prohibitive. I recall having gone there a few times in the past years much as I went this morning, have slowed-down — car and racing thoughts —  before driving the tiny loop to see and hear all there is to see and hear and coming to the end of the drive filled with a sense of peace and sanity re-stored – kind of like Drive-Through Therapy – which it was this morning.  I’d forgotten how much I used to love to go there and paint and listen to the birds.  The birds were there this morning to remind me how sweet their sound.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s