The past week swirled by in a chaotic frenzy of planning: coordinating a research trip, wedding organization, freelancing, endless overthinking…
Some peace, however, emerged after a weekend of plants and the past. Though my work requires that I spend most of my time preoccupied with the mid- and late nineteenth century, I enjoyed visiting a historic “village” from a slightly earlier period – a site that’s also imbued with my own history, as I found it entrancing as a child!
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall
That wants it down. I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly…
– Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”
Though the restored buildings in this village attract the most attention, I took pleasure in observing the artifacts of countryside life — rugged stone walls layered with encroaching grass, simple fences formed of rough wood, and tall wildflowers hiding from sheep and rabbits.
The experience reminded me, in a synesthetic way, of the rolling tones of the Howl’s Moving Castle soundtrack.
This dusty path stretched down to a covered bridge spanning a quiet river.
As I learn more and more about the past, I delight in the constellation of knowledge that takes shape in my mind as I draw connections between people, places, and eras. Because of my travels, I won’t give any more tours until later in the summer – so in the meantime, I will take every opportunity to enrich my understanding of this particular period! (Starting by watching the gorgeous new Little Women adaptation…)