Left behind, survivors from another era, they inspire awe in me
and provide a foothold for my imagination
sweet sentiment dressed in snips and blazes and stars
a whimsical peek into the hubris of the past, red wattles swinging in a sultry breeze
admittance to some rich man's Valhalla, its roofless ruins pointing jagged brick fingers to the sky...
No longer one family's private garden, Cumberland Island is the type of place a child might dream of: a whispering forest where flowers grow giant-size and birds speak in tongues and vines are so fat they could carry you from a tree to a pony's wild silky back.
A place where clouds seem to have fallen to the sugar-white beach in foamy bits and scrub oaks lie blown back like shrieking women.
If ever you'd dreamed of such a place, you'd not have the heart to see it ruined again.
Silenced now are the grand parties, the silk and champagne laughter. Instead there's wild turkeys that waddle through the palmettos like a pack of tiny horses and ferns that sprout like fountains from the wet bark of primeval oaks, sudden pristine fields where cows might wander and the occasional lone palm that rises up like a warrior out of the whiteness. Suddenly, the crashing sea comes into view and the child in me is happy for dreams come true.