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Photo Travel Essay of North Brookfield, Mass., Rural Scene "This is the real New England!"

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Image of rural scene in North Brookfield MA
A country road in North Brookfield, Mass. (photo by Eric)

Article and photos by Eric H.

As we headed back to the Boston area from Brookfield Orchards in North Brookfield, Mass., after a fun afternoon of live, local country music, homemade apple dumplings with vanilla ice cream and authentic country store shopping, my sense of living in New England suddenly came to perhaps one of its highest points ever. What caused this to occur was nothing extraordinary, mind you, but just the sight of the misty sun starting to set off a country road featuring deep green grass, rolling fields, an uneven stone fence and apple trees. The air was as fresh and sweet-smelling as we've ever experienced in New England and an emerging chill in the air ironically seemed to warm me up even more to this simple, but unforgettable scene. Everything was still upon viewing the area and all you could hear were some birds chirping. 

Not wanting to leave this gem of a Central Massachusetts small town, we were already late returning home to suburban Boston where we could expect heavy traffic and a faster pace of life. In my car's rear view mirror, I held onto this beautiful North Brookfield scene as long as I could -- and haven't let go several months later, thanks to this photo.

While North Brookfield is, by no means, a well-to-do town, I felt a sense of wealth and a feeling of honor visiting this authentic New England town that, time and time again, has created many instant memories with its incredible simplicity. It's amazing what a field, stone fence, apple trees and fresh air can do for the soul for a New Englander in need of the "real" New England.

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