|Photo by itsbrandoyo via flickr|
Did the bird guide me there? His twitters awakening me to a voice I could not hear? Or was it the way the wind blew, drawing me nearer with every footstep, a path in the road invisible to all but myself? I didn’t know. And I wouldn’t know. All that mattered was that I had discovered the house, the house that seemed as if it had been inviting me to visit for a very long time.
It sat back from the road, a big open field of uncut grass protecting it like a medieval moat. Old trees with haggard bark hugged its walls, their knowing leaves trembling in the breeze, shivering with sacred vulnerability. Its windows, like eyelids, drooped, a few lined with mossy sadness, a few others boarded up with cheap plywood. But it was the feeling that spoke to me the loudest that lazy Sunday in the month of May. The feeling that felt like a flutter bug twirling in my chest.
“Does anyone live in the big white house set back from the road?” I asked a neighbor watering her plants in her perfectly manicured front yard.
“You mean the Southern mansion? Old Jim’s Southern mansion? We haven’t seen him in years but we haven’t heard of his passing either. I’m sure he’s still there. Must be…gosh…how old do you think Jim is by now, honey?”
Her husband sat in a lawn chair on the porch reading a newspaper, “Over eighty, definitely over eighty, maybe ninety, for all I know…”
“I’d say more like ninety. He’s become pretty reclusive in his old age. Didn’t used to be though. Used to be quite the gardener, among other things. Guess I don’t need to be telling you that. You can see all that yourself, I ‘spose,” She chuckled. Nosy neighbors tend to do that, chuckle off their nosey-ness.
I breathed in another smile born of the Southern mansion, old Jim’s Southern mansion. And this one was deeper still.
The bird may have left me. The breeze may have settled down, but the feeling…it was still there. I was being called to visit. And could not wait….
I found the entryway hiding out in the darkness of shade, tucked beneath a cluster of trees and between a mess of bushy overgrown shrubs. Two crumbling brick columns held up a rusted black gate, its hinges whining as I gave it a little push. It was open, I just opened it a little bit more. The entry was littered with leaves and yellowing camellias. Weeds popped their heads out between stones, obviously months or even years old. No one had gardened here in a very long time. And yet it was still stunning. I walked slowly, breathing in the mystery of this forgotten place, the magic that had been overlooked by so many and for so long.
As I neared the house I noticed a cluster of terracotta pots, each one filled with dirt but their flowers dead, hanging over the sides in stringy decay. There was a shovel and a rake that had been outside all winter. The stoop hadn’t been swept for seasons. The entrance was in shambles. It was even more lonely and decaying up close. I breathed in and out, slowly, trusting my instincts to visit, then leaned in to press the doorbell…
*To be continued...
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My Wednesday Wish for You?
No matter where you are or what you are doing, there is always magical intrigue. Soften your heart, squint your eyes to see with alternate senses, and allow the guidance to bubble up from within...guidance inviting you to discover the magical intrigue that has been longing for you for so very long....