Shultz Family Farm

In this cold season when things are withdrawn into themselves, we too withdrew as a family during the holiday. In the midst of still mountains we retreated into Shaftsbury Hollow, to the Tree Farm at Schultz’ Family Farm. Although it’s a place where our family has scouted and chopped Christmas Trees (Scotch Pines) for more than twenty years, it’s a place where, in a way, we go to get lost too. It’s a place where we like to, as Robert Frost encourages in his poem “Directive,” “put a sign up CLOSED to all but me” (38). (Closed to all but Mull in this case). In this lost place, where in exuberance you hurtle through thickly grown patches of pines during hide-and-go-seek, you are found. Not by Dave or Steve, or whoever happens to be “it,” but by the surrounding trees you’ve known your whole life. The Scotch Pines and Douglas Firs that have remained uncut for more than twenty years now seem to contain within the densities of their branches the experience of your seven or eight year-old self. You feel, to put it like Frost, “whole beyond confusion,” connected to a part of yourself that you can only find outside of it, through the non-human world.

Tom Mull