A Georgia spring day. I am at my grandmother’s house in the small rural town of Chickamauga. We call her home, “The Cove.”
My eyes are closed, but the light filters through, yellow and glowing. I hear the water rushing and the dragonflies passing just above my head. The rocks beneath me are warm, comforting. I could easily spend forever this way, but I know I should open my eyes. I see to my left, the pond that I nap by every afternoon. With the large hard stone as my bed and the sun as my blanket, I get the best, most restful sleep.
I sit up to watch the pond and its small waterfall. The water is dark green but I can still see hints of the brightly colored koi fish underneath when they swim by. The water shimmers like glitter. In just a few weeks the lily pads have doubled in number with the warmer weather and the lilies are blooming, yellow and hot pink.
I am distracted by a frog jumping from the water and onto the rocks beside me. I stand up to follow him to the holly tree that has its roots set in the rock bed by the pond. The shade of the tree is a nice reprieve from the sunlight and I begin to walk under it more. I am not alone here. Hanging from several branches are bird feeders filled with seeds or cherry red Kool-Aid. Birds and squirrels spend all day here, eating and drinking by the pond. I feel like I am friends with all of them.
My grandmother has planted flowers everywhere. Planters with brightly colored annuals and perennials cover the rock bed and porch. Bushes and vines grow right up to the water's edge. I sit on the swing underneath the holly tree for a moment, admiring my grandmother’s green thumb (she could bring any plant back to life).
The warm wind starts to blow, and with it comes little white specks floating in from behind me. I turn around to get a better look and time stops — it is one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. The specks are blossoms from the Bradford pear trees. We have our own phrase for this, my favorite weather phenomenon: ‘spring snow’.
In late fall, I watch the leaves turn yellow and detach from the branches, floating down, sometimes onto the pond which is starting to freeze over. Georgia winters are not long and come spring, the ice melts and the trees start getting their leaves back. Soon enough, the trees are back in full bloom
This cycle of seasons in this one small space has been a constant in my life. Its magic has never worn off. Every time I go back to my grandmother’s house, I feel like I am seeing her yard for the first time. I immediately feel at peace.