Friday, June 20, 2014

Inspiration: The Golden Gate ...

Golden Gate Garden
I was having my coffee this morning and trying to decide what to write about.

To be honest, I was actually waiting for my muse.  She gives me my inspiration, but I've noticed the older I get, the more she tends to sleep in ...

Maybe I could write about something I remember from my childhood.  Most of my writing does have its roots deep in my childhood.

I remember having so many questions about the world and its workings, and all the different ways everything around me touched my life. It was such a carefree time then, full of make-believe and pretending, and anything and everything could be an adventure.

I remember when I was six, we had an elderly neighbor, Mrs. Tucker.  She lived all by herself in a huge old Victorian house, three doors down from ours. Her house had these pretty scrolled designs up where both sides of the roof slanted down and her front porch was filled with huge feathery ferns in hanging pots all along the wide railing. Her porch was further dressed up with white wicker chairs, a couch, and two glass-topped wicker tables.

I liked Mrs. Tucker, and her beautiful house, but oh, how I loved her back yard.  If there was a paradise, this was how I always imagined it would look.

Her back yard was entirely fenced in by an old white wooden fence.  There was a gate right in the center with a brass latch and hinges that glowed bright yellow when the sun shined on it -- I called it The Golden Gate.

You could barely see the fence, because of a huge rose bush that climbed up and over, almost covering it. And oh the scent!  I remember the sweet scent, even now, because it followed me everywhere.  So did the smell of her enormous lilac bushes that, to this small girl, seemed to reach up to the sky.

In the center of Mrs. Tucker's yard was a pond with the biggest gold fish I had ever seen. There was a small fountain on one side, too, and I loved hearing the peaceful trickling of the falling water. The pond was carefully outlined by different sizes of rocks and all sorts of plants and flowers were intertwined among the rocks.

At the back left corner of her yard, there was an old apple tree. From it's trunk at a right angle, grew one long straight-as-a-rail branch. There Mrs. Tucker had hung a wooden porch swing.  It had a padded seat with flowered pillows -- and this is where the magic was, for me.

I loved to sit in the swing, listen to the water, breathe in the flowers, and let my imagination soar. It was as though Mrs. Tucker's house didn't exist at all, only the magic of The Golden Gate garden.  There, I knew anything was possible, because time stood perfectly still.

Well, at least until mama called me home for dinner ...

“A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write.” ~CJ Heck


Unknown said...

Isn't childhood a marvelous time. Your Golden Gate Garden sounded magical. I am sure Mrs. Tucker is smiling down on you today. And by the way, your muse did come through for you. :o)

CJ Heck said...

Isn't that funny, I guess my muse did come through for me. I hadn't thought of Mrs. Tucker in all these years, until I started writing. Thank you, Patricia!

Have a great weekend, my friend.

Lisa Daniels said...

What a magical memory - I can smell the roses and feel the promise of that garden. Isn't it funny how, on those days when you can think of anything to write about, you just surrender then amazing things like this beautiful post of yours just flow out.

Unknown said...

Delightful, CJ. Sounds idyllic. Paradise indeed.

CJ Heck said...

Thank you for reading the post and for taking time to comment, Lisa and Christine. You know, I can still smell the roses in my memory. Amazing, truly amazing!

Janet Martin said...

Thanks CJ for sharing this lovely memory. Every chlld (in fact every person) should have their own special place to rest and absorb the magical sights, smells and sounds of nature.