Many gardens have felt the tread of my feet in days gone by from vegetable gardens by the farm house to mansions. The farm house is long gone leaving only the stone block front door step; a door that provided entrance to warmth in the winter, respite from the rain, a warm welcome by those living within.
The old folks have died or moved away, their children grown up, married and moved to town or another state. Scattered like leaves in the winds of autumn. The front door step stands guard looking furtively for someone to return where memories of long ago linger.
Other gardens were grand estates where the affluent held social gatherings with those of wealth and grandeur: Versailles in Paris, Schonbrunn in Vienna, Vanderbilt in Ashville and Bellingrath in Mobile, Alabama. Orchestras played, people laughed, drank, ate and danced the night away.
The grand estates had many paths and lanes that encouraged travelers to linger, laugh, love and dawdle discussing everything and nothing luxuriating in the time together in the afternoon sunshine and gentle breezes that bring the scent of flowers and fruit trees into the evening; tomorrow seemed like a 1,000 years away and yesterday faded into the mists of time. Time was given to joy, discussion, hope of the future, and gladness.
If I ever see those gardens again or walk therein spring will be gone and the summer will have long shadows along path and row, and the cool blustery winds of autumn will chill the air. I am sure that many birds still sing of the joy of days gone by and stir up the warm memories of the people who lived in and loved those gardens. I will think of those years that await their time to cross the horizon as other vines and flowers climb the walls and fences. I muse about those who come after who will enjoy the gardens but never know the names or faces of those who established them and enjoyed them long ago.
How would my life be different if you and I had taken different roads as Frost wrote about? Would life be different if we had taken a different lane on the road of life and journeyed with someone else? Yet from all of those events that have influenced my life and yours somehow we arrived at the same destination and began our journey together. It takes so little to influence the road taken. When I think of all the decisions made over a life time I often contemplate why did I make this one? That one? Those? Some were so significant that my position along the stream of life caused me to tie my boat to another pier.
It is pleasing to tend a garden that grows golden memories and gives the promise of a harvest of more for me and to deliberate on those who come after and will enjoy the beauty of the flowers growing there and smell the sweet fragrance of a life well spent.
Larry grew up north of Calvertville and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State four times. Contact him at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.