Water Row On My Mind


For almost a third of my 35-year career as a teacher at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, I knew nothing of Water Row because I lived in Somerville and commuted through Lincoln. Even after I moved to Brookline, several more years elapsed before I made the acquaintance of the road, for a colleague had warned me that it could be a dangerous shortcut. And so I chose the road more traveled by–Rt. 27–and came up through the old town center, before taking a right onto Concord Road.

But eventually, I did hear the call of the Row. Maybe I was late one morning and thought I could save a few minutes by cutting across to Lincoln Road. Whatever the reason, it was love at first sight.

I wish I could say the feeling was mutual, because Water Row did try to kill me once, but that's another story. Besides, when one falls in love, much is forgiven.

From the first, the road captivated me. One reason was the name. I had no idea what a "Row" was, nor would I ever really find out. But it sounded right, because the road itself seemed so ancient, as it carried me through a Sudbury that no longer existed, except on the Row.

Water Row became my preferred and regular commuting route in every season, and many a day I'd walk down its length for a mile or two. It took me from deep shade to bright sun, from forest to fields to marsh. I saw surprising things on the Row and beautiful sunsets over it. Once, on a dark and snowy winter night, a deer bolted out of the woods and ran a hundred feet on the road ahead of my car. Had a reindeer magically appeared to pull my sleigh? Here were animals, floods, collisions, and all manner of adventure. Somehow, I got Water Row on my mind.

Bill Schechter

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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