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I’m busy at work at putting together a video for the contest run by the Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace, which is part of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As those of you who have been reading this blog know, this has been a focus of mine for years, and I’m excited to have a push to put something on video. Granted, I’m not a videographer by profession (although I’ve worked with a lot of them) but I’m going to do my best with the skills that I have. I’m going to have to let my thoughts and message lead the way, and hope the meager editing skills don’t take away from that.
As I’m developing my video, I was hoping that I could get some help from you. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably thought about my particular view of how your passion and spirit intersect with your career. Since you really need to get the perspectives of others in any artistic project, I’d like to find out from you: What is the greatest learning and Aha! moments that you’ve gotten out of interaction with my message? I’ll need to incorporate them into presentation, and it will be all the better by your input.
Please leave your comments below, and I encourage you to comment on others comments! This will work best for me the more concrete things I hear from you.
Thanks for all your support and assistance!
The day after St Patrick’s Day was a beautiful sunny warm day. While we didn’t really have a winter in Massachusetts this year, we have gotten some cold weather and I and everyone else have been ready for some sun. I needed to get out and be active. Luckily, we have the Middlesex Fells Reservation which is in the towns of Medford, Melrose, Malden and Stoneham. As I had gone to all the other towns, I decided to hike the part in Stoneham.
The Fells is a very rocky, wooded section just north of Boston and there are numerous hiking trails along with ponds and hills. The highest point is only about 400 feet, but there are great views of the Boston area, and it’s thrilling to see so many trees in one spot so near the city. I got to the Sheepfold parking lot and there were cars lined up along the road as di many families and couples were out to enjoy the great weather. I even had to dig out my shorts from storage as it was about 80 degrees!
One of the first surprises that I found (as it was March) was a verbal pool with the unmistakable sound of peepers. These a small frogs that chirps and are a sure sign of spring in New England. Listen to a recording I made of them here.
It was a great relaxing hike. The views were great and everyone I met was just smiling and happy to be outside.
So, what are the small things that give you pleasure?
On a Saturday when I didn’t have any other plans, I decided that this would be a good time to spread my wings and find another town to add to the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge. After looking at the map and seeing where I could get to, I decided to make my way to Melrose.
Melrose is a small city and one of those places that while not all that far away, isn’t a place that you go through on the way to anywhere else. I’ve had done friends who have lived there and visited a few times but it’s been mostly an indistinct place in my mind. I drove and got to the main street, where there were many shops and the downtown is only a few blocks, but those few blocks feel like a city as opposed to an overgrown town. I had gone to an event at the Auditorium there and remember it being quite impressive.
As it was St. Patrick’s Day, I did run across a community band playing inside a hall. You could tell this was a non-professional event but one where everyone knows someone on the band. I was invited in but decided to keep on walking.
So, where have you found something you didn’t expect right underneath your nose?
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I actually have four more Meditate Mass 351 Challenge municipalities to post. I’ve gotten all the cities, but just haven’t had the time, etc. to put it all on line. I’m hoping to fix that shortly.
Now that I’ve done all of the towns and cities that are right around my home town of Arlington, I need to start going farther afield to find new places to go. In my last post about going to Holland on my way back from visiting a friend in New York State, I also had a little bit of time and decided that I should do double duty and try to get another town on the way home. The obvious one was Sturbridge.
Most people in Massachusetts know Sturbridge as the place traffic backs up if you are going west on a holiday weekend. It’s at the intersection of the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) and I-84, which heads towards Hartford and New York City. The other reason that people know it is because of Old Sturbridge Village, which is a recreation of a 1830′s (or so) New England Farm Village, and historical interpreters play out the parts of residents and teach people what it was like to live in that era. For those of us who grew up in the area, it was a place that you definitely went for a field trip in grammar school. Last time I was there was about 20 years ago when I lead a group of Japanese students on a trip.
Most people see Sturbridge only from the highway, or maybe from Route 20, which is the main thoroughfare through town. I decided that I wanted to see the actual town center. There I saw the Publick House, which was the old tavern that has been there for almost as long as Sturbridge has been a town. There was also a lovely little town square, the town hall, and a library that was open on a Sunday afternoon (and luckily had bathrooms available!)
Upon walking around, I noticed that there were many historical signs that mentioned that Sturbridge Center was on the postal road between Boston and Springfield and Hartford, and that this was were everyone would stop in those times. When the industrial revolution started, and mills started to be built in the village of Fiskdale in the western part of the town, most of the stores and commerce moved there, as that’s where most of the people were. That still holds true today as Route 20 goes right through Fiskdale, and Sturbridge Center is on Route 131 which is off the path of most traffic.
So, where are the places that you’ve changed course to find a new thing when situations changed in your life?
Often as I’ve driven back home from New York or Connecticut, I’ve notice that the last exit on I-84 in Connecticut, just feet from the Massachusetts border, is for the town of Union and the Massachusetts town of Holland. As this was one I’d never been to before, and I had a little time on my way home from a weekend in the New York Berkshire Hills town of Pawling with a friend, I decided that this would be the next town to check off my list of the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge.
Holland is interesting as it’s one of the few towns in the Commonwealth that doesn’t have a numbered state highway that goes through it. The exit off of I-84 turns into a town road, that quickly skirts the Hamilton Reservoir, which has houses all around it’s banks. It looks like the type of place that would be very popular in the summer with a lot of water skiers and speed boats going up and down its length. No chance of that right now as there was still snow on the ground there (which was surprising as there wasn’t any snow in Hartford or Boston). I got to the town center, which seems to be just the main intersection. There I saw the town hall, library (very cute), the Holland Elementary School, and in walking a little further, I saw a house with a windmill on it. This was Holland after all!
So, is there something that you’ve always seen, but have been itching to experience, even if it’s not something really momentous?