Today, we went on a pilgrimage to a place on Cape Cod, I visited a lot as a child. The Old Mill, and it’s ponds and streams. Most people like to go to new places, I like to go visit the shadows of time that echo in places I once adventured. I am haunted by the sound of laughter and I can almost see the shadow of the old rubber raft covered in loud laughing children, several more than advised by the makers of the raft…. Friends and companions, people I no longer know, but continue to wonder about…. What happened in their lives after we lost touch? What direction did they go? Was their path an up hill struggle? Or easy sailing? I will never know. But going back to the places where we were happy laughing under the sun, somehow, I find the haunting happiness contagious and I feel happy in the here and now just as I did then.
The Old Mill, is a common family destination. They have the herring run there, when I was little we would bring nets and catch the herring as they traveled up river in droves. Today people still go watch the herring but no one brings nets anymore. The old Mill, is covered in bushes including some lovely berry bushes rasberries and black berries and as you walk along the paths by the small rivers and mini falls, you can stop to put the wild growing berries in your mouth to savor their sweetness. Which some how tastes even better with the sweet memories complimenting them.
When I was very young, I used to believe that fairies lived at the old mill under the bushes. I can’t help but continue to believe it even today all these years later. This place is just too magical to not be home to fairies.
Today the old wishing well is closed with a giant cover, I wish I had wished long ago so may things…. But back then, I didn’t know where life was going. And today, there is no way to get a coin down carrying my hopes and dreams with it. But how lovely it is to look at.
The old mill is a special place of water and green things, where fairies roam and natural wonders are always going on. A great place to visit and to enjoy, there is even a museum inside that preserves some flour making history. This is a place memories are made from. The abode of time’s shadows. A place you go back to again and again trying to find the child self you rarely see. On a sunny day, you can look out into the little mill pond and you still hear the laughing of another group of children in their own rubber raft continuing a cycle that has been playing out for generations….. A shadow of joy that crosses decades of time.