Currently reading – We Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich.
1. dancing dish
I’m usually pretty apprehensive about reading memoirs. The last handful I have read I just had the hardest time getting through them. I am always plagued by my own brains thoughts I wish I could write to the author – “and you thought someone would actually want to read this?” I know it is a harsh comment, it’s safe to say I read more for escapism.
But the way Rich wrote is just lovely. There is a bit of dry sarcasm that is right up my alley. Her knowledge of the wilderness and love of the land really comes from being thrown into it. She takes on local pride and jumps the boundaries of the kept woman in the wild. Strong and able, she takes on so much herself and is able to look at everything, including not having enough food to last winter, as an adventure.
We Took to the Woods was written and first published almost 70 years ago, but you would never know. For all I like to imagine, there is still a family living in the wilderness of Northern Maine, suffering through winter and loving the short summer, and happy about it.
I used to go camping quite often as a kid, I was even a Girl Scout. We would spend weekends in remote areas with no running water, having to put on raincoats and boots to get to the latrine. Cabins would remain cold even in the summer months, damp and bitter in the winter. In front of the fireplace was where you always wanted to be. The smell of a woodstove, the feel of your woolen covered feet sliding around inside your boots and the exhaustion after a day of hiking through the trees that were older than anyone could remember. That is the life.
So, as I read this book, I am brought back to a place I have missed so very much. A place that only seems to be in my mind now – somewhere surrounded by trees and snow, the smells of the woods and of the wet mud sprouting new life. I know it still exists, somewhere.
I need to go camping.