Hopedale Parklands–a familiar place, seen with new eyes

DSC02117

Marcia capturing cattails on the edge of Hopedale Pond

I’ve visited Hopedale parklands countless times since I first learned about this special place probably fifteen years ago. Each season offers different surprises, and regardless of the season, there’s always something new to see.

But this morning’s walk was different in another way. I met Marcia at the main, Hopedale Street entrance, and we set off in the cool of the morning, before the day got too warm for me. Marcia teaches art at local high school, but we had never talked much about her work. We’re still getting acquainted, so we talked about family, children, all sorts of things.

DSC02105

A perfect spot along the trail to slide!

It was when I got out my camera to capture a favorite spot–

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Same rock on another day with a passel of kids putting the rock to great use

a rock slope at the edge of the trail that my grandgirl and friends had used for a natural slide–that Marcia perked up. She started commenting about the natural beauty of the area. I explained that it had not always been this way; that landscape architects worked hard to make the entire parklands look “natural” when the park was landscaped, now over one hundred years ago.

DSC02108

water lilies

We walked some more and I noticed the water lilies blooming. I soon heard about Marcia’s painting project this summer, to paint a different flower each day. “Maybe I’ll paint water lilies,” she said with a smile.

DSC02115

The stone bridge, just about a mile’s distance from where we started

When we reached the stone bridge at about the half way point of what is almost a loop around the pond, she spotted swamp maples already shifting colors, anticipating the shorter days of fall.

DSC02116

Island just off shore

The island just off shore caught our eye, as did a

DSC02114

Intriguing prickly plant

small prickly plant I’d never seen.

Our return trip seemed to take little time. We talked of being teachers, and of working with children to connect with them. I told her of stepping off the cliff into teaching by sharing stories with my daughter’s kindergarten class, now so many years ago. Fifty children, two classes combined, were my first audience. To my surprise not a child got up and ran away. In fact, they stayed right with me for the entire program, and at the end the teachers asked me to come back. Taking a risk, doing something new, being willing to fail, opened a new door.

DSC02111

Sharing a walk with Marcia, seeing the familiar with new eyes

And so I took a simple walk, but by the end of the walk I saw some familiar places with new eyes. Marcia’s perceptions helped me take in a familiar place and gain a new appreciation for the design, for the changes of seasons, for the wonder in small and larger flowers. And that in itself is art–to see the common with new eyes.

Marjorie Turner Hollman

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed two guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,” and “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! Marjorie is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340

http://tinyurl.com/MTH-More-easy-walks

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

2 responses to “Hopedale Parklands–a familiar place, seen with new eyes

  1. I haven’t been here in years, but it is very beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s