On a humid Sunday, we walk into Peacham Bog. When I suggest this, my youngest clarifies, A bog? That’s your idea of fun?
It’s Class I wetlands, I answer — as if this is even the remotest tease of fun.
What does lure her is the car keys. Driving there, I mention, Hey, you should always check the gas gauge before you leave home.
What’s the point? she answers. I always drive with you.
We’re driving over a particularly lousy piece of pavement then, and she carefully avoids a pothole — diligent learner.
I answer, But you won’t always drive with me. Isn’t this the whole point here? Because before long you’ll be driving on your own?
She takes that in — thinking over what’s obvious but of course isn’t — that she won’t be a child forever, that even as we’re talking she’s hurtling toward adulthood — a glacial pace for her, a rocket pace for me.
All that hike into the bog and back — exquisitely beautiful, bordering ethereal with its wildness — she carries those keys in her backpack. I can imagine she’s thinking, and I won’t be driving to any flipping Class I wetlands, but she humors me.
But I did not want to go,
not yet, nor knew what to do
if I should stay, for how
in that great darkness could I explain
anything, anything at all.
— Hayden Carruth, The Cows at Night
12 thoughts on “Wilderness”
“ a glacial pace for her, a rocket pace for me”
So much truth in these words.
Always nice to hear from you. 🙂
Your words always resonate with me.
This is why I take the two youngest out as much as I can now. at 8 and 13 its only a matter of time before they are too cool for step/dad.
Yeah, maximize that scant cool you have…..
It is the only cool I will ever get. 🙂
As a single mom of a daughter the same age as your’s, I feel your words keenly.
So glad to hear from one of my kind….
Cows at Night! My favorite poem ever.
So with you on that. Carruth’s Birthday Cake is one of my most favorite love poems ever.
Good advice on the gas gauge since not many places near the Peacham Bog to fuel up.
Love this place!
It’s an amazing place — despite how unimpressed the teen was. Carnivorous plants. Ancient atmosphere. I assume you’ve been to Chickering Bog, too?