My friend Marcy met me at the Blackstone Greenway in Blackstone, MA on a warm early spring day. The tree branches are turning lacy as their red buds fill out and promise greenery will be here soon. We strolled together on the clear path. The last time I was here, the bridges were covered in ice.
This day, I wore a sun hat, cooling scarf, and even a cooling vest to deflect the day’s warmth. Yes, the seasons continue to change, and my body is not able to adapt to these changes as gracefully as I might wish.
Marcy lives in Western Mass and she noted the difference between Blackstone and her neighborhood near the Vermont border. Spring comes later there.
This was mostly a “walk and talk”. Marcy has been a great help to me in my work sharing Easy Walks. She provided great feedback as I was writing Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, and has been a huge help when I have been asked to offer Easy Walks presentations in areas I am not familiar with. Marcy’s blog and work with DCR brings her into contact with lots of those with special needs, and we have been able to teach each other a lot over the past several years we have known each other.
Our walk was on a weekday, so the popular rail trail was not as crowded as it gets on weekends. The few people we saw kept their distance. Marcy and I wore masks. The pandemic is not over yet, though we all hope we see some light at the end of the tunnel.
At the eastern end of the completed rail trail we noted yet another bridge that is finished, and still another one getting worked on. Slowly, slowly, DCR is working to help connect other sections of rail trail to allow for more expanded walks and bike rides on these off road pathways.
It was wonderful to meet up in person, outdoors, and allow time to get to know each other better. That’s one of the things Easy Walks lend themselves to. Relaxing in the outdoors, enjoying what we observe, and simply enjoying the company of friends. We spent an hour or two, did not get terribly far, and accomplished very little. Yet, that is how friendships grow. A little at a time, doing things we enjoy together, and looking forward to the next shared opportunity, whenever that is.
May you find Easy Walks where you can meet family and friends, and remind yourself of the simple joys of early spring. Life, and color is busting out all over. Take the time to look before it changes again and summer will be here. Happy trails!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My liturgy of Easy Walks: Finding the Sacred in everyday (and some very strange) Places.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.