Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Hundred Miles to the Sea

The sky is gray-white, peeking between leaves turning from their Summer green to gold and russet.  The steady raindrops fall from leaf to leaf; from tree to tree; seeping, finally into the waterlogged floor under my feet.  These waters gently cascade like a fountain, stirring the spirit to relaxation. Somewhere beneath the earth streams are flowing and escaping by way of springs, taking these very droplets to the nearest rivulet, on to stream and brook; then a mighty river carries them a hundred miles to the sea.  I wonder how many raindrops have gathered to create this ribbon of water flowing past my shoes.  A tiny river, it falls over broken shards of stone as if, to that ant, it were cascading waterfalls roaring down a mountain pass.

A rock affords itself, appearing from under a cropping of ferns.  The damp surface and mossy face send up a scent that hangs heavy in the air.  Our name is written beneath this very stone; beneath the many rocks that are buried deep in this land.  Perhaps here is where my grandfather paused; taking his rest from the heavy weight of the axe.  My young mother crouched, waiting for the cows to finish getting refreshment from the nearby brook on their return trip to the barn as the late afternoon sun sank behind the trees.   The stones that lay about are the offspring of others that unearthed in long-forgotten days.  These now rest; piled in a staggering line that runs the entire length of the property.  The walls remain; a testimonial to long-forgotten days.

These large trees were only saplings then.  Their bark scarred by barbed wire and even a granite post can be seen growing from the side of some.  If we could hear their voices, the story would thrill and reveal more rich history than has already been handed down to us.  We would know of the cow that bore her young in this cove of evergreens; or of the hay wagon that overturned on that embankment.  They might tell of children who were camped here, in a temporary attempt at leaving the warmth of their own homes.

I step into a wide opening and stand before a small stone memorial of a tiny baby who's body was laid to rest here.   This has been kept clear; as a sanctuary among the heavy tree-cover.  Its contrast to the dark woods makes one think that they are in a wide open field.  The sun streams down and lights the spot.  I suppose that is why this special family member has kept it so.   There are no marking on the stone; no name or date etched into its surface but being here, one knows that it is a place set apart.   I love to come here and see the large opening to the sky, so far above; and to think of the life of this little one who never saw the light of day on earth, but knows the glory of heaven.

It is quieter  now; only the steady raindrops fall from leaf to leaf; from tree to tree...eventually a mighty river carries them a hundred miles, to the sea.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Friend from Afar

We've been blessed to have a friend from SC this week and a half.  Mike was up and we've had a great time together.  He decided to come for the "World's Fair" that he's heard so much about.  We went on our usual trip Downeast too (Kittery Trading Post), but never made it to our favorite nearby lighthouse.  We were sad to hear that some other dear friends from SC were visiting that lighthouse the SAME DAY!!  Wish we'd gone and let the dog run on the beach, like I'd wanted to - though, I hate to say, "I told you so". Ha, ha!

We all went to the fair with a great couple, the Richardsons.  Ate lots of food and everybody won ribbons for some artwork we'd entered.  Ate lots of food...oh, I mentioned that already...the best part of the Fair.
Here's a pic with Mike (from Alabama) with a Yankee soldier at the antique displays.

Ruger really took to Mike, especially once he found out how much Mike liked and drove the Mule, which is a magnet to Ruger.  He hates riding in the bed, but LOVES the front seat!  He really loves his new buddy, Mike!

Well, that's our news from the Hill.  Hope you all have a great day and fun with friends!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Excerpt from A Book

I have an unwritten book.  It's stored in my head and one day I hope to have it all down on paper.  There are excerpts from it scratched down and the leaves stored loosely in a folder on the shelf.  Today I share a short one with you:

Songs of the Wood

As the spongy, leaved carpet gives way to my steps, a sweet and spicy fragrance is released into the air.  Its incense awakes happy, childhood memories from somewhere deep inside.  I used to call it "the smell of Vershire" when I was a young girl.  Only at Grammy and Grandpa's house would I experience this woodsy sweetness, though I spent a great deal of time exploring any woods that afforded themselves to me.  

As I travel deeper amongst the gathering trees the crack of small branches are heard.  They rhythmically sound off like the tic toc of a timepiece on the mantle.  These sticks have escaped the eye of my mom, as she makes her daily trek, carefully gathering the fallen boughs into extremely neat piles placed alongside the pathway.  I walk against the east side of a once-broken down stonewall, likely laid there by my own forefathers in their attempt to clear the land for sowing potatoes or corn, and for the dual purpose of fencing in their livestock.  My brother, Dennis, has dutifully unearthed the rocks and rebuilt the sturdy structure; each stone laid with purpose and care that this wall will be standing for generations to come.  I sit on an end capstone and listen to the songs of the wood.

There is a rustling which becomes ever louder as the stillness around me magnifies the sound.  I will stay to see what will appear over the knoll.  As my ear focuses upon this sound, it seems to move closer, though staying shrouded behind a stand of spruce or low beneath the hillock.  My patience grown thin, I stand and stretch myself to gaze beyond the edge of the hill.  There, a small chipmunk is rooting busily in a large pile of leaves; digging here then there.  "You're a noisy little guy", I say aloud as he eyes me warily, then resumes his business at hand.  He obviously has lot of work ahead of him in preparation for a long underground stay.  I can't quite make out what he is stuffing into his puffy cheeks, so I study the trees above him and I settle on beechnut.

The sun has slid lower in the sky and its light filters through the flitting leaves, casting shimmering dots along and beside my path.  I will continue to stroll along this starry path until I reach the clearing in the field below.

Friends, I hope that your day is full of surprises and that your senses will be awakened as Fall begins to descend upon us all.