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Friday, June 19, 2009

Doorways to the Present

I promised myself that I’d take the pocket digital when I went for my next walk, thinking I’d find some kind of pretty bird to photograph. The naturalist and writer whose blog I have started to read knows the names of all the birds he sees; I haven’t a clue other than the most obvious. But when it came down to it, it wasn’t the live birds that held my attention, but the stone animals yesterday.

My stroll covered the short route, the one by the library that starts with the cemetery. The rain held off long enough for me to get a good trot in through the mossy banks that point out to Little Harbor. Once I get to the middle of the cemetery, something usually stops me, an old family name, or a large memorial surrounded by tiny stones; “Kitty – aged 2” got me yesterday. After that I power-walked up out of the cemetery around the block, turning left before the library on my way back to town hall, where I’d parked my car in order to get more yardage under my belt.

At this end of Sohier Street there is a mix of houses, a yellow Victorian that underwent an enormous addition, center-front colonials, antique capes, and this home, sitting right up on the street that I admire each time I walk by.

Perhaps it is how clean the front steps always look, or the smile the owner gave me last week when she was bringing in her mail. But in truth, I think it’s the yin and the yang that draws me in, the mix of formal and whimsy; a side-lighted front door, the meticulous bluestone path leading up to the step, an impeccable cobbled driveway, and then this. Two stone bunnies, a stone frog, and a pile of tumbled beach rocks tucked into the corner of the entrance. Something that “Kitty – age 2” would have loved. In some way, memorials to the living, after walking past so many markers for those who do not.

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