This time of year, early November, one cannot look away for long and not see the spectacular beauty of the mountain along which Mountainside is located. And, a large part of the town is stretched out along the bottom, so one cannot help but notice as the town’s people go about to and fro performing their life’s work, they feel surrounded by a wall of forest behind them or that they can look up to, a wall that changes colors with such consistency and accuracy you can base your life on it. Moreover, contemplating the constancy of the mountain, I always recall the following words:
“I lift my eyes up into the hills, for from there comes my help!” Psalms 1:1
We are just now, in early November, somewhat past the peak of fall foliage, however I want to comment how lovely a season it has been and how grateful I have been for that. When driving around along many of the town’s roads or on the highway that cuts across the town at the southern point, US Highway (Rt.) 22, you are driving parallel with the mountain. There are three main roads that take you from Rt. 22 through the town and into the mountain with the preserved forest at the top, “Watchung Reservation”. They are Summit Road, Central Avenue, and New Providence Road, like Rt. 22, ancient roads. These days, Blyss Kennels today is located in the vestiges of an old farming neighborhood on Central Avenue. My house, built in 1920, is a small cottage along side a large field giving the impression that it is my own front yard. It is not, alas. Many photographs of myself with my borzois have been taken in this bucolic setting perpetrating this illusion shamelessly. It is worth mentioning because I have a strong sense of place, and I believe my borzois, those currently living and those deceased, are and always have been happy here.
Moreover, I know it now with certitude, my borzois are happiest with me and me alone. We do not need anyone else. Oh yes, sometimes I may want a dog-sitter or another dog-walker for them from time to time. Otherwise, I am sufficient. And I have come to realize I only want them, with their perfect love; their pure love; them and God. We need no other. Yes, like the wild meadow fields that one comes upon hiking in the Watchung Reservation, the land formerly cultivated for corn and other crops, my field is a spectacular beauty here at home, enjoying it together with them.
“……Even though the moment passed me by I still can’t turn away.” Goo Goo Dolls. Name.
How interesting it is that when contemplating the beauty of nature, even a relatively small mountain in a suburban community, how much one learns about oneself if they take the time to consider it’s presence and beauty.
Coda. I may have the misfortune of outliving my “field” while living here if it is sold to developers. Its owner died two years ago and his heirs want to sell it. I can’t do anything about that and I don’t have the means to purchase it myself.