Place – The Woods

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The weather has been a bit warmer, the snow has began to melt, a perfect time to walk in the woods and get some sunshine.

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We were surprised to see ‘No Trespassing’ signs in an area that both my husband and I played in as children, and walked in as adults. It saddened me to see that the signs had been put up by a local church. It seemed unfriendly somehow, but then, on further thought, I realized the area is within walking distance of Rowan University, and the signs are probably there to prevent late-night partying and bonfires.

I enjoyed the walk, and so did my husband, but for some reason it also made me feel a bit blue. I had that strange heaviness inside that sometimes comes when we revisit places that have meant a lot to us throughout our lives. It reminded me of friends who I used to play with in this area who are now gone on to heaven, or have moved so far away I only see them once every few years.

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Beyond the unexpected sadness, I did enjoy the walk. This small piece of land has beautiful patches of moss. The variety is amazing.

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One eerie thing about this area is the absence of birds and wildlife. It’s very quiet, no birdsong, no scurry of startled squirrels. Whenever we walk here we remark on the strange hush. We have wondered many times if it might have to do with chemicals leaching from the glass factory waste still in the ground. The Glass Factories that thrived here from 1780 – 1929 gave Glassboro its name.

When we walk in this area we always find new pieces of glass ‘culls’ or waste glass that was dumped over 100 years ago. Most of it has been covered over by years of soil, but when it rains, especially the big nor’easters that barrel through, pieces will come to the surface again. Here are a few we found Saturday. If you look close, you can see the melted bottle top of cobalt blue that was discarded here.

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I don’t know if I’ll walk here again. The ‘No Trespassing’ signs warn of prosecution, and the remembrances make me miss friends who are gone.

17 thoughts on “Place – The Woods

  1. I’m wondering if you spoke with someone at the church, they might grant you permission. My brother in law in Ohio recently found similar glass.I think he said it had a leaf inside one of the pieces.

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    1. Oooohhh…the leaf sounds lovely, I would have been jumping up and down if I found it. Most likely the church would give permission, it is just seeing the forbidding signs that gives one a bit of a blow to the soul. It seems most beautiful places are off limits now.

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  2. Kathy,
    I am glad you got out into the sunshine but sad that you were reminded of bygone days and people who once walked with you. From wherever they are, they are surely thinking of you too or looking down on you and putting in a good word for you.
    You are really beautiful, Kathy and lucky to have such beautiful walking paths so near your house. We don’t have any walking paths anywhere near us and even if we did, the weather would be too hot for us to walk anywhere.
    I am reminded of
    The woods are lovely dark and deep,
    But I have miles to go
    Before I sleep and
    Miles to go before I sleep” looking at your pictures.
    All I can say is enjoy your quiet walks together and the pleasant companionship of a life long companion, who was with you in childhood, adulthood and even now.
    Susie

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    1. I love Robert Frost Susie, thanks for reminding me of that lovely poem. The paths are lovely, but now like blight on a beautiful crop there are ugly ‘No Trespassing signs’ in the area. I know this is done to keep people out of danger and starting trouble on the property, but the places people can go for solitude or quiet contemplation are getting fewer, and so much is structured and under surveillance. We live in a world that is changing too quickly.

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    2. My husband and I lived in the same town, and both of us played back in these woods as children, but we didn’t meet until he was 21 and I was 18. I had seen him, he was a few years older than I was in school, but I didn’t know him until later. Isn’t it funny, that sometimes those we see in one circumstance at a later date become someone of great importance in our lives.

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        1. We don’t have bears…yet, although I have heard they have them in North Jersey. I’m not too happy to think of meeting a bear in the woods. 😦 One thing I have heard about in this area is pigs that have escaped farms and bred in the wild, and over time they revert back to a wild boar type of pig. They can grow large and can be dangerous. There have been rumors of coyote in our area, but I have never seen one. There are a lot of deer, but they are only dangerous when they jump out in front of your car while driving…or the big males during mating season can be aggressive I’ve heard. My son said he one saw an emu type bird in the Pineland woods. It also probably escaped from a local farm.

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