In Holland's glen where it all began
where the woodchucks played in the open land.
In the shade of trees safely tucked away
the carriage house stood and stands today.
Small rooms seemed huge to a child of five.
The meadow the gulch and the fields beyond.
Where a sweet smell filled the air in summer
of hay and dew drying in the scorching July sun.
All full of snow in December the slopes at the western edge.
Inviting us top defy death on our Christmas sleds.
Home to hot chocolate at dusk.
In the outside world McCarthy hunted his commies.
Marilyn made a name for herself.
For here was the sheltered world of childhood.
Here was the fertile ground of imagination.
Here I was a war hero, a space traveler, a slayer of monsters
The journey is long
a circuitous route
with many strange turns
that at times convolute
our very perception
of all that we see
and convince us somehow
that we're not really free.
Like children are.
Like children are.
At times I've done well
and at times I've been burned
and with luck I've emerged
with a few lessons learned.
But for all that I've learned
Idon't know where I'll be
when I reach the end of this oddesey
With loved ones nearby?
Or afraid and alone?
I guess there are some things
Dusk comes early in late December.
I stand on a rise at the western edge
and watch as the last of the children
take up their sleds and head home in the snow.
To hot chocolate I guess.
Then turning I head back across the field,
festooned now with soccer nets and a baseball diamond
but somehow still the same.
I head for the car with long measured strides
and then in the gathering dark I see
the lights come on in the carriage house.
And snowflakes melt in wistful tears
that stream my cheeks
thinking of the years.
Shed for the places and things
that are no more except for my heart.
For friends on earth
and friends above
who taught me all I know
of life and love.
In Holland's glen
where it all began.
Bob Ayres, April 16, 1998