Ether & Wood - Alena Diane

from the album Cusp (2018)

My little corner of the world is a working class neighborhood on the south side of Atlanta.  The house that I live in will celebrate its centennial this year.  It is a shotgun bungalow built for soldiers returning home from World War One.

Yesterday, was a magical day; that first truly warm day of the year.  Spring.  Daffodils and redbuds open their delicate blooms.  The edges of dormant grass spontaneously turn parakeet green.  The heavenly sun soaks my face and shoulders.

I revel in this new season's arrival by taking the dogs on an extended amble.

Walking away from the town center, the bungalows give way to more impressive homes, from the 1920s, built on larger plots of land.  This abruptly ends as the neighborhood turns to simpler, box homes, constructed in the late 1940s for soldiers returning home from World War Two.

I think of these generations of homes and the souls who once occupied them.  I try to connect with their ghosts.  I think of the rings inside the giant oaks and how every ring memorializes a growing season.  Time will mark today as that special day, when the color of the outermost ring turns from dark to light.  I think of the rings of time-stamped homes.  I think about an older, crumbling structure and the new construction that will rise in its place.

Growth.  Decay.  Renewal.

Soon I am climbing the largest hill in the neighborhood.  At the top sits a majestic home with a large, tightly-assembled, wooden fence surrounding the back yard.  I look through a fence crack at an old, single-roomed slave quarters.  I know the home owners.  They adore this building and have surrounded it with a most enchanting garden; as charming as any cottage in the Irish countryside.

I think of the slaves and the flowers they planted.  I think of all the other spirits who once roamed this land.  I think about my own life and how - soon enough - I will walk amongst these ghosts.  I think about the buildings and the trees; of how long they endure.

I post a picture of a blooming redbud on Instagram and think to myself, Spring is eternal.

Click Here to listen to Ether & Wood by Alena Diane.

Click Here to read my July 2013 blog post on The Way We Fall by Alexa Diane.

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