Wednesday, August 12, 2009 Post on July 22, 2009

Bring me back

“When I’m feeling low all I know is that you’re there waiting for me
When I’m feeling low, all I know is that you’ll show me something new
When I’m feeling low all I know is that I’ll leave feeling free
When I’m feeling free, all I know is that you’ll bring me back again.”
•- July 2009

When I’m feeling low, with limited funds available and no vacation in sight, I have a spot that I go to feel like I’m in another place, another time, and it’s in my backyard! There is an urban oasis that spans five towns and over 2000 acres just a few miles from Boston, Massachusetts called the Middlesex Fells Reservation. The Fells has acres of hills, meadows, forests, ponds, and rock features to explore. Two of my favorite areas of the park are the endless hiking trails and Spot Pond for boating and kayaking.

As I struggle to pay my bills and my blood pressure is runs high, a hike on the birch trails to the Cascade falls or wandering an unexplored path regulates my breathing. The world is so quiet around me on those trails save for the wind through the trees, the animals scurrying in the brush, my footfalls and my (sometimes) labored breathing. The world starts to get much smaller as the park opens its arms to me. As a photographer, all I see are the little things... The light from above on that leaf canopy. The colors of the rock in the Cascade. The symbolism of that trail in front of me when I don’t know where it leads. When I am walking through the forest, breathing in the new oxygen produced by the flora surrounding me, I can’t help but gain some perspective on my life.

One of the only other places that centers me is in my kayak on Spot Pond. On weekdays and weekends from May through October, the Pond is open to non-mechanized boating. Here in my kayak I am so close to the water, to myself. Every so often, I’ll stop paddling, close my eyes and listen to the sound of the waves as they hit my little boat. I often wish I had brought my voice recorder to capture that sound, hoping it would bring me back here on sleepless nights. I lie there in the sun as it fills fill me up with warmth and light. I let my hands drift, feeling the coolness of the water teasing my fingertips. The water grounds me, and I float home supported by the earth beneath me.

This wonderful park is full of things to discover, and I find something new each time I visit. I hope that you find an oasis in your own backyard as well, they are closer than you think. Share with us something you've found that has moved you.
The Middlesex Fells includes areas in Medford, Winchester, Stoneham, Melrose and Malden, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit Middlesex Fells Reservation.

Image and words courtesy of Bostongaljm who shares her photography in her shop
Small World Photography on Etsy and on Flickr.

Reader Comments (10)

limited funds this years for me too, and here my heaven, next by Bologna
July 22, 2009
kosenrufu mama

I'm familiar with both Middlesex Fells and Spy Pond. There are many hidden gems in and around suburban Boston. Crystal Lake is where I go to find my peace and quiet:
July 22, 2009

what a magical looking place with images that really call to you!just wishing today from my kitchen:
July 22, 2009

Jeanne- I can't wait to go kayak with you one day! You are an awesome photographer!
July 22, 2009

it's a beautiful backyard! my dad was born in Stoneham and grew up his whole life in Malden. this area was never home to be, but always felt like home. these images are wonderful! thanks for the memories.
July 22, 2009

This is lovely - I can almost imagine walking on that trail. thank yoU!I was moved recently by the magnificent old church (now an event center) where my BIL got married - so much peace there.

July 22, 2009 ~ kristina ~
I too have one of those places - it takes me away.
July 22, 2009

Great photos! I'll have to put that on my list to visit next time I'm in New England. :) This shot was taken after I forced myself to really relax in my own front yard - sitting on the grass, in the shade, just breathing and watching my movements of the neighborhood (and my dog):
July 22, 2009

how amazing to live in such splendor! i had no idea this was all available in boston... living in vancouver is such a gift everyday! it's the only place i know of where you can canoe in the morning, golf in the afternoon & hit the ski slopes @ night (i know people who have done just that)... beaches, rain forest, lakes, parks, mountains... it is wonderful to be a tourist in my own town.
July 23, 2009

Wow!I live in Melrose, MA and I have never explored this beautiful sanctuary. Your writing is lovely. Happy belated birthday too! I'm July 11th.Thank you for the impetus to do so.
A fan,Trish
July 23, 2009

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