These trees hold magical powers. I found myself pondering the power that every branch, every piece of ripening fruit and every beautifully formed leaf held over me. Even the gently sloping fall of the ground had me mesmerised.
Nearby, my cutie-cat pounced along through the grass, chasing butterflies, whilst black-velvet dog was having her own adventures, rustling around in the undergrowth nearer to the back boundary fence, just beyond the trees.
My mind wandered, to another place; another time…..
The house was old, very old. We opened the creaky wrought-iron gate and walked along the short footpath, through the neglected garden and onto the aging wooden boards of the front veranda.
To our left, the wall of the house had two doors, either of which may have been the main entry; my father unlocked the second door.
We entered directly into a small but cosy lounge-room. Further investigation revealed three bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. Although the house was anything but grand, I instantly felt at home.
My bedroom was the smallest room in the house, even the bathroom was bigger. There was only room enough for my single bed and a tiny desk, but that was all a nine year old girl needed. A small, built-in wardrobe in a corner had enough space to hold my winter clothes. A broken, dull, brown blind covered an extremely tiny window. When I managed to open the blind I could see across into an open field of grass, where a local bee-keeper kept a number of bee hives.
The room where I felt really comfortable was the lounge-room. Burning logs blazed non-stop in the open fireplace and I knew where my cat could always be found; curled up on the old hearth mat. An antique clock chimed every quarter hour on the mantle-piece. At night time I loved to hear the wind whistling around the windows outside, knocking and scraping tree branches against the side of the old house.
The most old fashioned lounge-suite I had ever seen was the only furniture in the room, one three seater couch and two single seaters. I made claim to one single seater chair nestled comfortably next to the fire-place. I adored the way in which I sunk into that big old chair, just like being gobbled up by a huge marshmallow! An aged, brown marshmallow, but definitely a marshmallow. The broad, solid, but softly upholstered arms of the chair were just the right width for me to rest my book, whilst reading. As I recall, by nine years of age I had collected most of the “Famous Five” series of books by Enid Blyton and I read them all.
The house was only a five minute bus trip to and from my school. Other children in my class would travel with me and in the afternoons we could hardly wait to get home, allowing us an hour or two to spend in the park directly across the road from my house. We all enjoyed the swings, merry-go-round, see-saw and climbing gym there.
When walking outside the back of the house, you were met by another aging wooden porch, this one larger than the one at the front of the house, with wooden steps leading down, into a gently sloping expanse of garden; an orchard.
Oh, how I loved that orchard! Tree after tree, producing lemons and oranges, neglected, just as the front garden was, and containing magical powers that only my nine year olds mind was aware of! The trees were my protection from everything, nothing could harm me there, and I was invincible…the garden was calm and safe, protective and mesmerising…..
Our stay in this ancient, neglected home only lasted for three months, during the cold winter season of a beautiful, mountain village. Spring arrived far too early for me that year, along with a move into a brand new home, built by my parents. There we had fresh new carpet, brightly painted walls and brand new furniture. And, I missed my old house…
Standing amongst the foliage in my garden, mesmerised by the trees, I contemplated the similarities of the home I had shared for a number of years with my husband and children, a home where I felt calm, safe and protected.
Collecting the ripened fruit that I had picked from the trees, I called out to my cutie-cat and black-velvet and the three of us headed back up the gently sloping hill to the back of the house.
As I walked in through the back door, I heard the chime of my clock, sitting on the mantelpiece over my fireplace. And in the far corner of my lounge-room I spotted the big marshmallow of a chair, with broad, solid and softly upholstered arms…a chair which had recently found me (but that is another story for another day!) 🙂
Was it my conscious or sub-conscious mind that had drawn the orchard, chair, clock and fireplace into my life? If I hadn’t lived in that wonderful, old neglected house a lifetime ago, would I have been inspired to draw these items to me, or would I have made different choices?
Some day, I may have the answers to those questions. And if I don’t come up with the answers I am now pondering? It doesn’t matter…every single piece of furniture, ornament, picture on the walls, paint colour, curtain, and in the garden every garden-bed and tree there was firstly pictured in my mind’s eye. When I went to the store to buy them, every item was there, waiting for me. If I didn’t find them first, they found me.
They bring such joy to my life…just the way it’s meant to be. 🙂