The Cove Journal
by JoDee Samuelson
Some of us have been attending an exercise class at the local hall, and as we bend and stretch and shake our booty, the instructor calls, “Don’t forget to breathe!”
Ah yes, breathe. We get ahead of ourselves and forget to stop and smell the—well, the Mayflowers. With summer coming things are only going to ramp up. I guess I’ll get on that treadmill with everyone else and hope for the best; but right now I’m trying to slow down and do one thing at a time.
Recently I took part in an event celebrating the Hillsborough River, which got me thinking about our rivers and how they all begin with springs. Clear pure precious water bubbling out of the ground: springs were such an important resource that their locations were noted on early maps. So, as we had plans to attend a theatrical event in Montague I suggested that while we were out that way we visit the spring at the head of the Hillsborough River.
Do you ever get lost on our backroads? I still get disoriented whenever I cross the Hillsborough Bridge. Eventually we did find our way to a certain woods road in a remote (to us) part of the Island, where we parked the car and headed down a sandy path. Fox sparrows rustled confidently in the dry leaves of the undergrowth—busy as only little birds can be when they have two months to build a home and raise a family. A fat flying insect flew into my face and bounced off my glasses. Mayflowers invited us to stoop down and lift the fragrant tiny white blossoms to our noses. It was perfect. But where was the spring? After a half hour of steady hiking we were starting to feel a little uncertain. But then we turned a corner and there it was: a shallow dark pool with water gushing out of a PVC pipe onto a mossy green hillside. Water came and came and is coming still, tumbling icy cold, delicious, sweetly filtered through the good earth.
Meanwhile, on the surface of the pool whirligig beetles tumbled head over heels in a merry spring frolic, and amorous male water striders tapped impatiently. We had nothing to do but breathe and relax. Was something else going on in the world? Political shenanigans? Flooded basements? Impossible. In thoughtful silence we retraced our steps through the dappled light, past sturdy fir seedlings, ancient horsetail shoots, and sun-warmed maple trees with red buds swelling.
Then it was on to Montague for a dinner theatre featuring the amazing war diaries of Angus MacLean. (And we got lost on our way there.) I highly recommend attending events outside your own community. How else would you know that you could add cinnamon and sugar to mashed turnip? Oh my, what a feast. It was just the thing to follow our magical hour at the spring.
We headed back to the Cove filled with contentment, and mashed potatoes…so full we could barely breathe.