City of the Woods

9] On the other hand, the road runs up to Carlisle, city of the woods, which, if it is less civil, is the more natural. It does well hold the earth together. It gets laughed at because it is a small town, I know, but nevertheless it is a place where great men may be born any day, for fair winds and foul blow right on over it without distinction. It has a meeting-house and horse-sheds, a tavern and a blacksmith’s shop, for centre, and a good deal of wood to cut and cord yet.   (ed. See Chapter 3, Sunday)

 ‘A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers’

Henry D. Thoreau

On our Friday evening walk – which was last night – we met Steve.  He lives not far away and was trying to get our parents to buy his house (they complimented him on the nice state of his house, which he agreed was immaculate).  He has lived there 44 years, but since his wife is no longer with him, he wanted to spend time on The Cape – and possibly the outer banks of eastern Florida.  Although the house is absolutely adorable and more like what we lived in when we were in Illinois (which I’ve been told is “our” style) there was no way we were going to be moving again anytime soon – especially now the fence they installed seems to be working…but that is a story for another day.  And if you actually take the time to listen to these people moving stinks, apparently, but who listens to them?

Despite being bombarded by hordes of gnats, they stood there and talked to Steve for quite awhile.  During this time, we were told about this email group thing for Carlisle residents (and whoever else was interested) called City in the Woods.  I seemed to recall this phrase from some of my reading and so while Zoe jumped at imaginary rodents, tried to climb a tree for the same phantoms, and my parents chatted I lay down and had a deep think on where I had come across these words before.  Alas, I remembered – we are in Thoreau territory and it was likely from one of his essays.

(for more on my reading habits, see:

When we got home, my Dad looked up the email group and found the above quote from Henry D. just like I had thought.  The only problem I have with the passage is: “a place where great men may be born any day”…as it excludes dogs – and especially ones that have recently relocated to the city.  Namely, THE TEMPEST!!!!

But it got me thinking.  Maybe I need to spend more time by the side of a lake to contemplate some of the more serious issues of our times and the bigger philosophical questions that have yet been solved.  ‘Cause people, you have a lot of these right now, sans Hank for help so let me see what I can do..

Hank T., thank you for the inspiration.

The Tempest


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