Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Spring Break 2012
This year I did not make plans to visit Florida: time and money were not in my possession. So I decided to explore the town in which I work. I rarely bring myself to explore Uxbridge, MA, I just stay in the office. But considering this is my spring break I am entitled to a little excursion beyond the the usual limits I set for myself.
I walked from the office to the main street. When I do go out and walk during my lunch break I always loop around back to the office. I take familiar streets and I avoid the congested intersections. This time I decided to walk down the curve in the street that lead to who-knows what. The black paved street led under a bridge, now rusty and disused. I looked up, cobwebs were threaded through chicken wire that probably had once been securely attached to the underside of the railroad bridge but was now curling back in some places.
I walked along the deserted sidewalk, cars every so often moving past me. I soon heard what sounded to be water. The overwhelming sound of crashing water filled my ears as I moved into sight of it cascading over a dam. The Blackstone river runs through Uxbridge, it had once powered the now defunct mills.
An ornate iron fence was held closed by a small padlock. Behind the fence a worn dirt path, stone steps and short bridges wound closer to the water. My disappointment at not being able to explore was soon quelled when I spotted a low stone wall further down the street, gravestones peeking up beyond it.
The only noise I heard as I entered Prospect Hill Cemetery was the whooshing sound of cars passing, the cries of desperate fun from unseen children at the nearby school yard and the periodic squawks of birds. I walked along the dirt and gravel path; I felt my boots sinking into the ground. The slate gravestones that I passed were so thin they looked like they could snap over just from me walking by them.
The path wound invitingly up a hill and out of sight. I stopped and looked at the remains of the Bernat mill building right across the street. The expanse of concrete and emptiness spoke of abandonment. The gaping wounds of the gutted mill were inviting, and begged the delinquent in me to jump the fence and risk injury inside the crumbling walls.
Instead I continued to follow the cemetery path to see where that lead.