T h e  I n t r u d e r 

Sometimes, as I stand quietly over a long forgotten cellar hole, I inexplicably hear hauntingly familiar sounds, seemingly distant, but ever so close. I breath quietly, straining to sift through the rhapsody of the forest, the music of the wind embracing the boughs of the mighty White Pine. Chickadees, their always delightful, cheery chirps, inconsiderate of sorrow. What is it I hear? Could it be, voices of children, laughing?

Suddenly, the call of crows, alarmed, interrupts my reverie. The voices cease and there is absolute stillness. I turn to walk away, and a shiver runs up my spine. I sense invisible eyes upon me.

I am an intruder in this hallowed place.

Sometimes the very bowels of my being well up in an overwhelming yearning to be there then. And, if it were possible, to return in some small measure what was taken from these families, the inheritance of their children, stolen, those many years ago.

This then is Quabbin, in the Swift River Valley. A grand engineering feat. A monument to precious moments of a time and place that can never be again.

©Richard H. Cooper 2002.