Wednesday, July 29, 2009

they paved paradise

Eventually, everything changes.

For fifteen years I have traveled to Berkley Springs and then, for exercise and peace, found my way through the woods to the top of the mountain that looks down on the Shenandoah River. The forest is full of deer. Tall and stately oak trees are mixed in with the lower climbing sassafras and red bud. Ferns dot the undergrowth and lichen covers the exposed rocks.

Imagine my disappointment - I pull up to the trail head and find a big yellow No Trespassing sign warning me that if I should set foot on this pristine woodland path, I "would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

Joni Mitchell said it all years ago:

"They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know
What you got til its lost...."

Oh yes, I still went on the trail, up to the top of the mountain and yes, the Shenandoah is still there.

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