The bench is long gone, many of the plants are also. The concrete ball remains as do the bigger shrubs on the left although pruned back. Was it better? That is such a hard thing to verify. Certainly the flourishing plants would say yes. But would I? I can’t recall for sure. Aug 2008 was just 5 months after my dad had died, just a month before my oldest would start middle school, and seemingly just a day that was unremarkable. And yet, for some reason I paused long enough to get this picture and keep it all these years. It is of what the girls called “the secret garden”, to then it felt a journey away from the house. A world apart in the waning years of childhood. Good days, bad days time keeps rolling on.
Sunday we visited the Lexington/ Concord Massachusetts area. There were several old houses along our walk that sit in isolated locations, the road at a distance. Time capsules of a sort, neither in use nor out, their windows continue to watch the world go by. Only memories inhabit these houses, unless you believe in spirits or ghosts. How many tracks has the sun cut along these floors, sweeping across it and illuminating the dust motes. How many storms have battered the walls, cold drafts sneaking in to chill the ankles of those gathered around the fireplace. How many small feet pattered through the rooms, out the doors and on the stairs. While the building might not be old in comparison to castles and ancient dwellings, it is still part of a full, rich human history that is timeless.
Maybe you can’t go back again,
but you can carry the warmth of home anywhere in your heart.
The act of crossing from the old year to the new is complete. Mists block us from seeing exactly what 2016 will hold, and soften our view as we look back to the year behind us. Off into the year we go, with hope in one hand and determination in the other to help us along.
This past evening I spent taking and editing my daughter’s prom pictures. The last dance of high school.
As I looked at all their young faces clustered together, laughing and enjoying each other’s company I wondered if any of them knew how precious that moment was as life prepared to sweep them all in different directions.
How far in the future would it be when one of them stumbled upon one of the photos packed away amongst the detritus of the teenage years, and be amazed at how much time has passed, and how they all looked on that one night.
It did not make me nostalgic for my own senior year in any way, just contemplative seeing this group of girls on the cusp of all the unknowns that lie ahead in their lives. Even in this world of social media constant connectivity, friends will be outgrown and the ties will weaken as they step into the wider world.
Model UN, school trips, classes, sports and high school dramas will all fade into the background collage.
They all have been fortunate enough to have parents who invested in their education to give them the best jumping off spot they could. That is a huge help these days that not everyone gets to have. In a couple of hours my daughter will be home to tell the tales of prom and the following sleepover, where a friend’s parents invited all 50+ girls over for a sleepover. Then it is the last few school events: baccalaureate, sports banquet and graduation, the final hugs and laughs in the flurry of activity of the big day. Then, that door closes as they all turn towards college and all that will bring.
The last time I was visiting my mom I went for a morning walk up the road by her house. I can’t really call it my house, or home, anymore as I have lived longer at my current address than I did at that one. Weird how adulthood does that, it is home, and home and home until one day it just isn’t anymore. This barn is on the opposite side of the road from my childhood home and once housed dairy cows, then thoroughbreds and finally just a few old horses that dwindled to just one. The property has been subdivided into 2 large lots that once were fields, and the house and outbuildings are also on the market. This is the barn my occasional babysitter would take me to, and I have vague recollections of playing in the hayloft. But maybe that is not so at all, memory is a funny thing and often what is remembered is not quite accurate, or ever even happened. It wouldn’t surprise me if we did play in the barn, kids did things like that back then. Our own barn was out of use and a rather dark, scary place, this one being in use had a life to it. I believe the cows were gone by then, but there was a horse, and I have the picture of me at a tender age sitting on it with Debbie the reins. So I can safely say that did happen. I am hopeful that the 2 houses that go in will not be monstrosities, and that whomever buys the house brings life back to all the buildings. I might not live next door anymore, but would like to see things done right.