I drove past Walden Woods today. Past the waste land highway of Route Two leading out of town. It was an eerie feeling. Trees trunks lay like soldiers lost in battle. Tossed, piled high for the clean up. Their bare limbs stretched forlornly. Reaching. Bony stick fingers grasping. Dirt fields where once forests grew. Minefields. Blackened earth. Stumps. Bits of tree limbs strewn. Scattered. A line of orange tape, flapping in the breeze, tied to wooden posts windes its way around a hill. Roadwork in progress. Progress in roadmaking.
Walden Woods is next. Neighboring woodland, just further along the highway. An eerie feeling.
I pick up a flyer in the bathroom at Walden Pond.
“On April 22nd-Earth Day- the residents of Concord will have an opportunity to preserve open space in Walden Woods by voting YES on Article 12 at a Town Meeting.”
Quite unrelated to the fact that Route Two is to be widened, the Town of Concord, School Administration, is needing a home for a bus depot and its fueling and maintenance facility. A parcel of land, former landfill, abutting Walden Pond State Reservation is under consideration.
The Walden Woods Project, http://www.walden.org shows the proposed placement of the bus depot in relation to the conservation land that currently surrounds Walden Pond. The map also shows the perimeter of current town landfill, which under a long range plan in the 1950’s, was to remain as conservation land. And which is now being challenged.
I stared at the black dirt that had been upturned on the now naked roadside field. The sawed off stumps of what must have been saplings, yearling trees struggling to survive after a winter of fierce icy winds and snow screaming down their twiggy trunks. Waiting, as trees do, until the spring. Only then to become fodder to the blade.
I don’t know why this highway making had such a visceral reaction in me. It is not always this way.