Vol. II No. 12 6/15/2021
by Meryl Phair
As a Stockbridge resident many of the distinguishing aspects of our town have existed as part of the landscape of my life. Over the years as I have introduced Stockbridge to people who have never been here, I have grown a greater appreciation for all that our town holds. I point out the iconic cultural centers we have such as the Norman Rockwell Museum, Chesterwood or nearby Tanglewood. I often describe Kripalu, the Berkshire Botanic Gardens and the views from Stockbridge Bowl. I have noticed the most engaging topics of conversation about Stockbridge consistently revolve around the Red Lion Inn, the lack of streetlights on Main Street, and anyone who has driven through Stockbridge will undoubtedly have something to say about navigating the intersection.
One of the things I can rely on Stockbridge for is to never change. I go on the same running routes as I did when I first started running in seventh grade, I check out stacks of books from the Stockbridge library like I did in high school, and I can count on our town beach to be patrolled by a gaggle of geese. Stockbridge often feels like a town preserved in time. There is even a Norman Rockwell painting of Main Street that looks like it could have been rendered today.
Despite the peaceful consistency of our small town nestled in the Berkshire Hills, my relationship with Stockbridge has shifted as I have seen more of the world. For me, Stockbridge is constantly changing. On rainy days, grabbing the mail and stopping by Stockbridge Coffee and Tea for a lavender London Fog reminds me of time I spent in Scotland. The rolling waves of hills that can be seen from the parking area of Tanglewood in the heat of summer make me think of the view of the Golan Heights in Tzfat, Israel. As I have grown older, my perception of the place where I grew up has grown as well, and every time I come home, I gain a deeper understanding of this town.
Stockbridge is often characterized by its predictability, but it holds an array of hidden treasures. Like navigating the intersection by the Red Lion Inn, I can always count on Stockbridge to provide something interesting. I'm looking forward to writing for Stockbridge Updates this summer to explore the familiarly of my hometown community through new perspectives.
Editor's note: Welcome Meryl to the summer staff of Stockbridge Updates.