Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Special light

Yesterday afternoon I drove many miles through a rural part of Massachusetts en route to an appointment with a veterinary specialist. My cat was in a carrier beside me, meowing at times to let me know that she did not like traveling by car. I was not happy to have to make this trip, either. An uncomfortable nuisance for both of us, but it turned out to be worthwhile. The cat's health is improving, and I enjoyed beautiful scenery along the way.

A special quality of light played among the trees in the hilly sections where, because of elevation, snow remained on the trees and slopes. Every branch of every tree was outlined in white by a thin layer of recent snow. The woods were dense and deep, thick with trees as far as I could see, yet the overall effect was light and airy, delicate and feathery. The sky was overcast and grey; the time was 3:30 pm in February. I was not expecting such stunning lightness. The woods were beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful.

Lacking time to stop, lacking a camera, I drove through those woods, thinking what words might be used to capture and remember the beauty. Each branch dusted with snow... feathers of green and white... post-card perfect ... dark tree trucks, snow-covered hills, white slopes. The most striking aspect was the special quality of light on and among the snow-covered trees.

I have a fondness for woods and for winter, based on fun memories of childhood play in Danvers. Today as a busy adult, I rarely experience the natural joys of winter woods.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The idea

The idea of writing a series of stories about my Danvers experiences was suggested by my good friend Peggy Melanson in January 2007. Peggy is a professional storyteller and writer. I attended a storytelling workshop she led in 2005. She encouraged us all to think of stories we might tell; I created and told a funny little story about one Halloween in Danvers with my father. Peggy is still trying to encourage me to write that one down. Maybe someday I will. Meanwhile, I've been writing other pieces for a "Fun with Writing" class I joined in 2006. Last month I sent one such piece to Peggy, and she reacted with a recommendation that I submit the story to The Danvers Herald.

What an idea! Share my writings with people in my former hometown? Write for a Danvers audience? I hadn't considered that before. Nor was I expecting to write for publication. Quite a surprising and delightful idea. THANKS, Peggy.

The idea appealed to me, perhaps because I had once (seven years ago) had an informal plan to write about the history of a place in Danvers where I played as a child. I wanted to invite others to add their stories to that history, but I hadn't yet initiated that project. Now, thanks to Peggy and her persistent follow-through (in contacting the Editor of The Danvers Herald and recommending me as a writer), I am on a verge of becoming a newspaper columnist! I've named the column "Remembering Danvers" and created this blog to accompany it.

While you're waiting for my column to start, I recommend that you visit Peggy's website and enjoy her stories. 

[Update added 2020: Unfortunately Peggy died in October 2017 and her website is no longer available. She had lived to age 80; see her obituary.  I miss her.]

Thursday, February 1, 2007


This is a brand new blog, and I am a first-time blogger.

Welcome to my Blog about my memories of Danvers, Massachusetts, my hometown.