Something about poking around an old place where no one is living anymore stirs up feelings about the old, abandoned, memory-laden places within my own heart.
I see the rope attached to fence posts for older folks to hang on to as they make their way down the leaf-covered concrete walk to the water. The rickety bench sits atop an old septic tank, half buried in the slope, half exposed.
Thoughts and feelings that took root in our hearts as children haven’t gone away, even though we move cerebrally to other continents.
Old fences forget themselves. Trees grow through them. Flowers nod over on the neighbor’s side. Vines love a fence, but property lines are meaningless to them. It’s their support structure, whichever side of the fence they twist and climb on.
Resting here in the mid-morning heat — it’s ninety degrees already — I am transported to the fish camps of my youth, unregulated spaces of bare feet, cane poles, loud cracks of a cabin screen door, wigglers, smell of fish, Vienna Sausage with Saltine crackers, sweet tea, and the ineluctable lure of freedom from the “musts” and “shoulds” of regular life.