29 May 1999
It is invisible at first. You can’t quite perceive what surrounds you having arrived from points beyond with stress clearly visible in your eyes. The veins in your neck throb and protrude. They are surely the result of unhealthy dances you’ve been performing elsewhere. Only in time and by being still inside will the gentle rhythm and strong essence of the Berkshires be revealed to you, soothing you.
At first, you will be fooled. Your first pass through these Berkshire Hills, no doubt driving along and jumping to the conclusion that this Route 7 corridor is “all there is.” As if one paved road was the only dimension you could imagine.
So What? You think to yourself. (You can’t feel it yet.) But if you’re in search of, or you only have time for the superficial, you’re best continuing on. You will miss what’s here and the Berkshires will be lost on you. To those of spirit and openness, a place of wonder will begin to unfold around you.
When you are ready to perceive with all of your senses (i.e., more than five) these Berkshires will begin to make sense. Further from the pavement, it may begin as you notice quietness–the joyful lack of mechanical intrusions, automobile horns and piercing sirens. And this will build within you, as you receive the kindness of a Berkshire resident or you hear Nature begin to speak.
It will crescendo with a symphony and peak with an artist’s proof before your very eyes. Dazzle you from a stage, even leap at you from a “Pillow.” Or perhaps a genuine Berkshire essence will occur to you when you reflect on relics of the Berkshire past.
It is this Berkshire spirit that can transform your soul bringing you to a place you could be, inside. You will begin to ‘see’ what is here when you venture far beyond the roads into the corners to the quiet places—where solitude grows louder. Every idea is clearer here in these places–you’ll hear insects and breezes, brooks and trees.
Loudest of all, your thoughts emerge from the cacophonous static of a modern age onto a blank and tranquil new canvas in your mind where you might imagine more clearly all that is possible, where your life might lead you.
And then, your dance with the Berkshires has begun. And you’ll realize why we who live here move to an invisible rhythm, savor moments in time a little longer and treasure our lives more deeply.
Welcome to the Berkshires!