I’ve written a post for my seminary’s faculty blog that can be found here. It is about a man who functioned as a grandfather to me during my most formative years. Mr. Ballard died recently and so I wrote a few reflections.
If you go and read the post, you’ll get to see a picture of me during my last hunting trip with Mr. Ballard (and my father on the right). It was during Thanksgiving in either 1990 or 1991. You gotta love the mismatched clothes: a ski jacket, hunter red pants and flame orange to boot. The photo was taken on Terrible Mountain, just off Rte 100 near Okemo Mountain. This area had all that I love in New England woods: old logging trails, half-hidden stone walls from generations ago when the area was used for farming, and a burbling trout stream. Add to it the chance to have a fire to toast a sandwich and you have all you need for a peaceful day.
In 2006 I wrote these paragraphs after spending some time in New England:
Just spent a week in Connecticut and Massachusetts. I spent most of my growing up years in Vermont, have lived in Mass, NH, and Maine, where my parents live now. There’s something about NE that feels like home. The houses, the terrain, the temperature. It all gives the feel of home, even though I have only lived 2 years in NE in the last 20. Even the Red Flops 5 game loss to the Yankees at home made me feel like I had never left.
We spent 2 days with friends who live north of Boston. To me, this is quintessential NE. The water, the houses, the beauty all around.
I wonder if others have this experience too. I guess it’s a taste of Heaven, when we finally feel at rest and at home with the Lord.
Having just made a quick trip to Western Mass., I am again reminded by the “ahhh” feeling I get when there. I think it is a combination of topography, the typical greenery, the clapboard homes, and a host of fond memories. I can also tell you that though I like my job and my current friends, I do not get that feeling on the drive back to the Philadelphia area.
Does anyone else have this experience with a geographical location?