A travel album to Eliot’s Invitation: our answers set in New Jersey:
Dear Friends, Kathleen and Jim Amon, answered ‘Yes!’ to my “Let us go then,” at 20 or so degrees, upon New Jersey’s Sandy Hook, one recent January.
T.S. Eliot’s invitation was one of the richest moments of my entire college education. Looking back, I could say it became my life mantra: “Let us go…” [No, not “down certain half-deserted streets, although that became my way in post-college Manhattan years.]
“Mr. Smiley-Face”, at the entry to a Sourlands Trail, off Greenwood Avenue in Hopewell, welcomes every visitor to his hushed green domain.
Moved to underappreciated New Jersey, for a husband’s career, I began to set out on Wordsworthian nature quests. “Get OUT there!,” I’d urge friends and relations. “Nature is EVERYWhere!” “New Jersey is BEAUTIFUL!” “Let her enrich you.” “Let us go…”
As I ended a long-ago poem, protesting the building of THE PUMP in our Delaware River, ultimately the river taught us: “I, who had been barrier, am bond.”
NJWILDBEAUTY is a printed version of my own constant invitations, from 1964 forward.. I’ve taken up this blog again, during our impossible situation, in which answering yes to “Let us go then, you and I” is forbidden. But Eliot’s call remains essential!
Even at autumn’s culmination, our Delaware River and her nearby streams, tributaries and canals, beckon with unspoiled beauty. Here, memory of late riverine light brightens this drenched day.
Even quarantined, our New Jersey remains a treasure trove. Let’s “stroll together, you and I”, in memory and photographs upon these pages.
Right now, we are experiencing a medical Battle of Britain. Normalcy has been suspended until the invading microbe is finally conquered. I suspect even Eliot would not have believed that following his stirring invitation could ever be banned.
Proof of the altered meaning of my nature-quests is symbolized in this Island Beach window, looking East, as our Coast Guard monitored sailing vessels in distress.
This day, I moved my wondrous birding binoculars from the travel bag in the front hall closet, to locked French doors looking out on a very domestic natural landscape.
New Jersey’s still out there, everyone.
Beckoning with Eliot.
Hike her anew!