We acted out fantasies on this Flintstone glacier, mining hunks of mica, peeling shiny layers as if each flake were Jurassic currency. We found answers to questions as we flipped rocks to watch a salamander slither, or examined veins of a waxy Maple leaf. We created our own adventures respecting the territory and the life within, sometimes a little too much, the day we all dressed in black, bearing lilacs, to hold a funeral for a dead rat.
Over forty years have passed since my childhood days. I can still see those magical times when we played in the woods. I remember how moss felt like velvet, the smell of wet bark in the air. I remember the smiles of my friends. My life was touched by this.
It was a place once preserved by cool dusk. Now it is preserved in my mind.
Patti Cavaliere grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut when the suburbs were still bordered by wooded property. She now lives in East Haven, where her home faces acres of winding paths that remind her of the childhood and friendships that outlasted the woods of Jewett Avenue. She was a veterinary nurse for many years and now works in research at Yale University. Her love of animals and people is reflected in her writing. She has published short stories and is working on a first novel entitled Looking for Leo.