There is a path that runs from his property, across the dirt road, to my property and has been there probably over 80 years - since his house was moved across the road after the 1938 hurricane.
When I was a kid, our backyard was a huge 15 acre field that was bordered by beautiful stonewalls and acres and acres of woods. It is still the view from my father's kitchen. And, while I walk up that path to visit him regularly, I am willing to bet I have not walked in that field more than once in all these 20 years. Since adopting my little Daisy, I have taken to walking her daily up the dirt road and around the corner to his field. Each time I turn that corner and view his property from this angle, I am instantly transported back to when I grew up on this magnificent piece of god's country.
But I also experience a bit of melancholy because I know the day is coming when my family will not own this property anymore. I can NOT imagine that. We have been here for 47 years and although I don't live on his "plantation" anymore, I have had free reign to walk up that path from my house to his - forever. It is unfathomable that I will not have that freedom some day. So yes, that is a sad thought but what it does is it makes me appreciate each day that I can turn that corner and take in that view that I am blessed to have access to. I am so looking forward to seeing snow falling on my "new" view and I plan to imprint in my mind's eye the beauty of that field blanketed under the cover of snow.
But first I am reveling in the first signs of fall. It is my favorite time of year. Back in August, my daughter brought in the most beautiful leaf. I was shocked to see it's pure, almost glowing hues of gold and burnt red. After all, it was still August! But it was definitely in the air. It was overcast, rainy and almost cold at 5:30 in the morning when Daisy had me outside. The cool breezes were blowing through my bedroom at night and were a welcome relief from the perpetual heat wave that has engulfed us this summer. This week? Not so much! But still, I know it is coming. And last week I detected a brief waft of decaying leaves. That awesome scent of fall that I want to just roll in - the scent! Not the leaves!
Don't get me wrong. I love summer. I'm a beach girl after all BUT, fall is my favorite time of year and always has been. It's my New Year. I make my resolutions in the fall and I've always felt like I have a fresh start every September. Do you know that going back as far as sophomore year in high school, every time I fell in love it happened in the fall? (Ummmm - BTW it has only happened 4 times in 50 plus years! Not a gazillion!) And why should I be surprised that Michael entered my world in? The fall. Fall means new beginnings. It always has for me. It is the pattern of my life. I love the crisp days of blue skies and white fluffy clouds.
But this fall, I am very much looking forward to catching some joy - walking my new baby across my father's field through the autumn leaves and really seeing that vista change this year. I can already touch it in my mind and because we all know how time passes so quickly, it will be here before I know it. The difference is - this year I'm not missing it. I will touch the crisp, clean air. I will breathe in that scent that you can only find at this time of the year and I will memorize each precious day that I have left to travel the land I grew up on. All because of Daisy...and also how could I forget? The catalyst for Daisy entering my life - my Michael...
Funny how that chain of joy came together!