people on this land have left marks. When I am gone, there will be
an imagination that pauses by one or other mark of me and this future
imagination will ask the same question my imagination asks of past people.
Sometimes in the garden I see these other minds as both past and
future. I think of past and future as having come together in a
moment that is 'now'. I think of those things that make the moment
proud, and of those things that make the moment sad. And sometimes
in that moment there is the silence of this place as belonging to time.
Then, twelve inches beneath the ground, I find an engine block that must
once have belonged to a bulldozer, or a Sherman Tank. My imagination
curdles suspiciously as I wonder at the circumstances that put this engine
block exactly at that point where I had envisioned a fence post.
Yet at some future time, when I am gone, a
future mind will no doubt curse me as I am inclined to curse past
people. There will be no gentle understanding of wooden posts in
concrete. There will be no full appreciation of cement and gravel
edging made more lasting with rebar. There will be no marveling at
tilth, when gravel is wanted.
Lately in the garden, so rough have been my
voyages through 'now', so irritable I have become with past people, that I
sense a future time when school buses filled with serious minded children
will be brought to this place so as to see for themselves what not to
do. And there beside the ruin of my garden will be an effigy of me to
further frighten them.
But I persist, in that stubborn way of one who
knows what's right. A couple of dozen more yards of concrete should
put me firmly in this dark history book. And under one last yard of
concrete I'll lay a plaque which reads "Apology Accepted".