Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crafting a Fond Farewell

Goodbye, Leverett.

Recently we had the good/bad fortune of selling our country home in Massachusetts. We were lucky, in this economy, to find buyers willing to take on a two hundred plus year old farm house that still needs a lot of TLC to realize its full potential. But its been hard to say goodbye. The boys especially will miss this place; the place where we could open the door and just let them out. Before leaving for the last time, Henry suggested we make a time capsule to bury on the property and come back for some indeterminate number of years down the road. Jake wrote a lovely letter listing the reasons why he loves it here, and the boys collected a lot of, well, rocks.

Here are the kids digging the hole for the time capsule.

Over time the kids have also collected abandoned birds nests, feathers (turkeys, guinea fowl, owls), defunct hornets' nests, and other natural ephemera. But how, really, can we capture in tangible ways the depth and breadth of our experiences here as a family? In this place we've celebrated many holidays, many birthdays, had family gatherings big and small, had one child christened, spent many lazy August afternoons, and have enjoyed countless weekends of simple, unstructured downtime, both with friends and on our own.

We can't put memories into a time capsule, so I'll say goodbye to all that, then, with a very brief, very incomplete, list of the things we'll miss most about Massachusetts.

Goodbye, house.

Goodbye, pond, where we watched the beavers work their magic, where we once saw and moose and her calf cross the water, and where Jake caught his first (and only) fish.

Goodbye, stone wall, and the many mysterious universes within you.

Goodbye, treehouse, wonky and with the odd nail sticking out, built with love by Jake and Henry.

Goodbye morning walks to the Co-op, with many stops along the way to walk across a log, play on the big rock, or jump in the odd pile of dirt.

Goodbye to the Village Co-Op, where we'd catch up with neighbors, spin the kids on the roundabout, sit for a moment of quiet meditation, and pick up our basic provisions.

Goodbye, Lake Wyola, which on the odd October weekend, we could have almost entirely to ourselves.

Goodbye, too, to friends and neighbors we've had the pleasure of knowing, to the porcupine who appeared on the lawn every evening like clockwork, to the woods and their many mysteries and to the orchard where we picked our apples every fall. Goodbye to the Peace Pagoda, the local school playground, the dam that Henry and Jake built and the many clanging wind chimes left before us by previous owners. Goodbye to the barn, goodbye to the flocks of wild turkeys, goodbye to the fox in the white, white snow. Goodbye to autumn afternoons that took our breath away, to winter icicles three feet long, to the black flies in spring, to summer's long and languid days. Goodbye to ten years of experiences in a place that almost certainly had magic in the water. Goodbye, Leverett. We'll miss you.

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