And if I loved you Wednesday,
Well, what is that to you?
I do not love you Thursday —
So much is true.
And why you come complaining
Is more than I can see.
I loved you Wednesday, — yes — but what
Is that to me?
You heard me say, yesterday, how I did not believe in so very many things: fate, true love, kismet. But just maybe something was at play today.
I have slept, eaten, and read well. I drank too much coffee and ate an enormous breakfast; I took a long, hot bath and fell asleep-with wet hair- in my bathrobe. I woke up at lunchtime and ventured into West Stockbridge for coffee. I finished some reading, had a lovely visit with Joel from the Cali-style mobile store which included a tour of the factory. I bought a felt puppy for Baby Fern. It was gorgeous, sunny and sparkly and clear and warm.
I drove by the Millay property at Steepletop and realized that I should hike today — storms are in the forecast for tomorrow. The property is situated off a three-ish mile dirt road.
I ditched the Subaru, threw on my backpack and hit the trail.
I had no idea what to expect.
These poetry placards line the trail.
I had no idea 1. How long the trail was or 2. That the grave sites were situated at the end of it. I have unrealistic expectations for a husband simply from reading about Eugen. He once said if his wife wrote one good poem a year, then he had done his job.
I wrote to a friend: “I am sitting in a family graveyard.” I sat for awhile. I gathered stones and stacked them next to others. I talked to myself, to the trees, to one very loud bird, and to Edna and Eugen.
I was passed by a young gentleman runner. He caught back up later and walked me to the end of the trail. He was a composer, one of the artists-in-residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts. More on that later.
I reached the lower parking lot and gathered my keys when I saw a man open the shed door. “Do you work here?” I asked him. He replied “yes,” and I asked permission to walk the house grounds. He smiled and showed me to the main office. Martha gave me a sticker so I could be official, and Michael, who I learned is the staff gardener, pointed me in the direction of the main house. Then he said “oh, I’ll show you some of the highlights.”
An hour later, we finished back at the main house.
The new caretaker was moving into the apartment Norma and Charlie Ellis (Millay’s sister and BIL) shared, and he and Michael talked as I prepared to get into my car. “Do you want to see it?” He asked, and I knew I was about to meet my new best friend or get murdered. I weighed my options and figured that if I had to go, this was a pretty spot to bite it in. My mother will be proud.
It was bright and warm, and I walked the same floors that Edna walked when she used the apartment to write in while her shed was being rebuilt. His excitement was palpable. He knew how special this place was.
I stayed awhile longer and we sat by the stream sharing Stories. This new caretaker, Prescott, had a lifetime of knowledge not just about the property, but the entire area. We acknowledged the rare gift of today, and of Millay’s spirit – connecting Maine and Steepletop yet again.
7 thoughts on “Thursday”
Thanks for sharing! I had no idea this existed, another trail for my bucket list!
Haven’t visited Steepletop in several years….now I really must get there!
Do go visit. Tell them I send my love!
Heather, this is very touching. As a board member of The Millay Society it gives me great joy to read about your experience at Steepletop and interaction with our team on site. I would like to share a link to your blog with others through our marketing materials, with your permission of course. – Mark.
I would be honored, Mark! Please send the link my way when it is up. I’ll cross-post here. I’ll see you all again this summer!
Hi Heather. we posted your blog to our FB page. Mark
Excellent! I’ll have a final post up this weekend.