full circle in the hundred acre wood


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.

IMG_0626 Someone put that old birdhouse on a pole and nailed it to a piling in the water. Someone planted hydrangeas and butterfly lilies. They bloom each year, with or without human witnesses.

Thoughts and feelings that took root in our hearts as children haven’t gone away, even though we move cerebrally to other continents.

IMG_0609 An old jar on a post by a vine-tangled fence. A person put it there. Was it forgotten or a marker on the landscape? No matter. I like looking at it. 

IMG_0606 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.

IMG_0578 Beauty belongs to itself. If a hummingbird sustains itself here, that is good. If a human heart finds refreshment, then that, too, is part of the whole.

IMG_0630 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.


0 thoughts on “Pathways to the Heart

  1. DSK says:

    Looks like a nice spot. I wouldn’t have guessed it was unoccupied if you hadn’t said so.


  2. Dave says:

    I do like this post better with the photos going the width of the column. The writing leaves me wanting more: more details about this place, a full story from this fish camps of your youth.


  3. Thank you, Dave. My brother, Wally, is the one who can really tell this story. Maybe together we can tell it.


  4. Gullible says:

    Beth, please e-mail me. You have the addy. I don’t have yours. These pictures are lovely. I’m still stumbling around at my blog, trying to figure out how to add pix. Gully


  5. Wally Jones says:

    The Vienna sausages and Saltines were a highlight of a day on Lake Panasoffkee. About lunch time, Daddy would point the bow of the wooden boat with the 25 horse Evinrude kicker north, toward Big Jones creek. As soon as we entered the creek, the water changed from the tannin stained “iced tea” color to crystal clear, pumped from a large natural spring. Gliding slowly upstream it seemed as if you could just reach into that cool water and scoop up a mussel shell or polished stone from the creek’s bottom even though it was more than six feet deep. There was more than just lunch to be savored traveling up that creek.
    Thank you for the Memory, Dear Sister.


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