Yesterday I met my friend Alice to go letterboxing, which we do occasionally. As we were getting started, Alice wanted to show me somethings she recently made. One was a book about a park in her neighborhood. When I met Alice, she was working very hard on a committee trying to save the park from bulldozers and they were successful. I was not surprised that they were successful, but I was very surprised and moved when Alice presented me with the book!! It is a very complex double accordion book with windows. To represent the park, Alice used a tree stamp over a gelatin print. It is very lush because the layers are built up and you get a sense of being in the woods. Figures dance among the trees and three tiny birds observe. The book is playful and joyous which is no doubt how people will feel at this park. The text gives a brief overview of the history of the park. I felt so very touched to receive such a special gift. The full book is spread out below and I have a detail underneath. My photos do not do it justice.
There were a few coincidences about this day. First, the trail we were walking to find some of the boxes is the same trail we walked at the very beginning of the pandemic. It was probably about the same time, maybe almost to the day, that we set out in a very bewildered state of mind. Another coincidence is I seem to remember Alice presenting me with a gift on that day as well – a rubbing that you can see here .
As for our letterboxing experience, we were successful with three of the six boxes we hunted. Our excursion involved some steep hills, lots of wet leaves, and questionable digging around what is called SPORs. In the letterboxing community, we learned that this means Suspicious Pile of Rocks. One box we could not find was supposed to be situated around the base of an ‘interesting tree’. Alice pointed out that all trees are interesting but then, set back a bit from the trail, was a tall Beech tree with limbs springing out that were almost spider like. The base of the tree was buttressed. While looking for the box, a barred owl flew into another near by tree. We decided that the ‘interesting tree’ and the owl spotting more than made up for not finding the box. And if this wasn’t enough, we came across a Little Free Library where I acquired a practically brand new copy of The Bhagavad Gita. And to top it all off delicious falafel! I think it will be a day I remember fondly for a very long time.