My favorite part of the house was the back yard with its old stone walls and courtyard, I could so easily see a time when it was covered with tropical flowers and plants.
We left this house and went on to look at 4 more, each with fantastic stories – the one I liked the best was Spanish in style and had been built in the early 1900’s – again time held still, steady enough to be seen as I glanced into each room.
At the final house I got to talking to another real estate agent that had shown us the previous two houses. She was really more of a historian than anything, she filled my mind with images of each home and it’s time. I told her what I felt about the first house and she knew much!
She said a Civil War Colonel John Upham built it, he had lived there for only 5 years before dyeing and he’d only married a few years previous to his death. This historian real estate gal also informed me that two men had taken the house over in the eighties and restored it to it’s beautiful self, leaving two apartments. She said that most of St. Augustine had lived in these apartments at one time or another – before it had been restored a ton of folks filled the hallways as boarders, WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE, as I heard the Colonel say. Lastly a woman bought the house opening the doors to the apartments attempting to make it all flow, but sadly what that did was open the house to the chaotic energy of way too many transient folks. I understood that to buy such a house one would have to restore this house completely for it to ever regain it’s congruity – doing anything less would only annoy the Colonel.
All of this casa hunting got me to think about whispering walls and how homes hold on to time. As we returned to Tara, and were greeted by Memaw and Idora I felt the comfort of the world that has lived for so many generations here in this Magnolia Mansion. I’ve fallen in love with the view of the St. Johns River as we sit watching the sunsets to the sound of the girls singing and performing for us nightly. I enjoy the giant Magnolia tree, counting her last few dried up blossoms as the summer shifts from the beginning to the end.
Memaw (my mother in law) is in good spirits; she is getting up every day, sitting with us and joking. She feels more relaxed than ever, interesting enough as the last of her good friends have been passing on over to the other side. Of most recent Dr. Fleming Roach, he was one of her suitors and dear friends just died a few weeks ago. Memaw is seeing an end of time and via mee and the girls the beginning of the next. Last night I sat at her feet, she told me she is proud that I am the mother of her last grandchildren and I felt great pride. My eyes teared a bit, ‘cause I have wished that she could really know me, travel with us and see the world through our eyes. However what I know is that it is perfect, as she has mirrored to me and opened a window to her time; what a grand gift this has been. I love that the girls are able to come here and hopefully form memories of their own.
As Memaw is chatty and upbeat Idora is quieter by the minute, she still gets up everyday to sit in the kitchen and watch the bustle of this busy house, but her words are fewer and fewer.
The other night I was sleeping in the Rose Room, named for it’s rose covered canopy bed, rose colored carpeting and beautiful floral stain glassed window. The dreams in this room are outstanding; climbing into bed is like climbing into a dream traveling ship – filling my rest with epic journeys.
So, there I was dreaming away that I had spider man thread that pours from my palms on command, my girls had it too. There was a man named Deacon, large, dark haired, handsome and the air of someone who lives in both worlds “good and bad” however his core was noble. He was watching over Lola and Bella because there were folks – who wanted people who could weave life with their threads. The interesting thing about this dream was that the time of it all was long ago, and I was totally conscious in my dreaming understanding the concept of the thread, you see for years now I have worn a string around my neck that the Oracle of Tibet placed – this thread was symbolic of me finding my own thread – through writing and health. Our first night in Malibu the thread broke and I lost it. I knew that it was all perfect because now I have within my own hands the ability to write – and to cook food with these fingers that can heal my body and yours.
I heard in my dream someone calling out a name, a name I couldn’t make clear, and the voice was far off. I opened my eyes and heard clearly – it was Idora!
I flew out of bed, she’d fallen in the middle of the night, and unable to climb back into bed; she’d been on the floor for some time.
Her blood pressure had dropped, she was scared and sweaty. Nella (she is the nurse here) was trying to get her up when I entered the room. It took the two of us to lift her and I was in shock, I realized how hard it is for her to move her body every day, how scary it must be for her to fear falling every time she gets up and goes. You see she still gets up every morning, dresses, heads down stairs (via the elevator) and takes her place in the kitchen. I understand this struggle as I too have fought to stand up and carry on with my busy day – strapped with pain, threatening to steal my freedom.
I felt time grip my fingers and I wrapped my imaginary thread from my palm around her wrists – I was awake but completely connected to my dream. She looked deep into my eyes and I saw how close death sits along side of her. I wiped her forehead with the love that I touch my children, whispering into her ears that I was there and to hold tight – I adore this woman who too has opened another window with a view of time.
Idora told me the next morning that she never really had many friends, that she kept to her self and this family was her life. I find myself walking by her and kissing her on her cheeks every chance I get, I want to touch her and Memaw with love. I want to whisper into their ears how valuable they are.
I know that once Memaw and Idora are gone someone will come into this house, remove the doors that have kept time still here and all that whispers in these walls will fly free towards the river.
I’m sure someone like me will show up on occasion and hear the footsteps of AD Davis, Ben McCormick, Lee McCormick, Skipper & his girls, my sister in law Ms. Barbara, Lisa and Ernest and all the others.
The strangest thing is that the large front door is harder and harder to open, in fact as I was leaving I had to use the back door to exit– this old Magnolia Mansion is holding on tight to what was.
For now we have decided that Flow -ida isn’t the place that we want to move to just now, LA is calling and if all that seems to be real out there is – than fo’sho we will head west. However what I do KNOW about LA is that it can be a city of illusions and what if’s. I’m comfy in Nashville, I know this little city and have grown to appreciate the lack of chaos and ease that the south holds.
We are heading home to Nashville where Bella will start a new school and I will clean up my messy office and get my ducks in a row – as they say LUCK is when preparation meets opportunity.
I’m gonna do my best to step to the plate and welcome the next level of experience, by pulling on the threads that can be found within my own two hands.