The thoughtful gardener who planted Merryvale surely went on to his paradise long ago. Initially, it was hard to say just how long but once fall arrived the copses of trees began to give up his secrets.
Twenty and thirty foot chestnut and English walnut trees in deliberate patterns have begun to nod to the ghosts age. Two, maybe three generations before I was born he lived here. His name was Snowden and this was his family's place. Today, I live in the home that had been his family's farmhouse. One day, in his fifties, he up and left for California, selling the place to the people who eventually built the abandon nursery on the southeast corner of the property.
I do what I can to keep up with his hand-me-down projects. The tiny twinkle-toed girls and I harvested the chestnuts and complained viciously to the family of squirrels who left not one walnut for anyone else let alone enough to make even one measly banana walnut pancake.
When surely I would stop for a minute to take stock, rest, or feel the unavoidable emotion of everyday life, his ghostly thirst for earthly endeavor never allows for a moment of reflection. Reflection generally being an intellectual past-time I suspect of creating a waste of working time anyway: Idle hands...
I don't honestly know anymore if I chose his place, or if it chose me.