Just around a corner…a whisper waits…

Digital Camera.

“[Wandlebury] was a very small town, of course – a sleepy, sunshiny place that looked as if the rush and hurry of the modern world had overlooked its existence.  Barbara found herself in a big square, paved with cobbles.  There was a fountain in the middle…it made a pretty whispering sound. A few pigeons, their iridescent feathers gleaming in the sunshine, strutted about, pecking hopefully among the cobbles, or sat and preened themselves on the edge of the white shallow basin of the fountain.  One side of the square was occupied by County buildings of Georgian character…four stories high with pediments over the principal windows and a heavily ornamented cornice… On the third side was a row of shops, and on the fourth, the Inn…Barbara felt, as she looked at the Inn, that the sound of coach wheels of a previous century had not died away. She could so easily imagine the coaches, dashing around the corner, lurching through the tall archway, and drawing up with a clatter of hoofs on the cobbled yard… Mr. Pickwick, she thought…it’s all exactly like the background of Pickwick Papers…”

~ D. E. Stevenson, from her book, Miss Buncle Married – a novel

(see my book review:  D. E. Stevenson – A Charmer of a Read)

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Digital Camera

Sleepy English villages and rolling green hills. The stuff of novels entrancing and leading, compassing and stirring the heart to long ago places that still…are.  Of fictional story narrators who captivate imagination with simple word pictures in opening lines… Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again…*

And sometimes… if you look for them… the stuff of tucked away places and hidden, whispering gardens and the rhythm of coach wheels from a previous century still breeze on the air…beckoning to women in long skirts, lounging on verandahs, gentlemen-come- calling…and little girls in Pollyanna dresses running a wagon wheel down a road…

Such was my mood, like Miss Buncle, a few Sundays ago as I drove slowly down a lane called Cherry wheels on old cobblestones that freeze-frame 1890’s or turn of century Georgian-style mansions…searching for that courtyard. Glancing in my rearview and enjoying how, for once, cars behind seemed not in a hurry either…

“Look for the restaurant café to the side,” someone had reminded me.

Converged, nearly swallowed up by so many little shops and brick building businesses – some attractive, others not — leaving little street parking available, it was hard to spot. I nearly missed the sign pointing to the narrow one-way alleyway lot.  A place I might not like to pull into on a dark night, but this day, crowded with late brunchers, and…at least…daylight.  Ugly, potholed parking space, framed mostly by the back side of modern-day apartments and condos and garbage bins, yet tantalizingly mixed with the rush of delectable aromas coming from the café…

I tilted my head to see the little corner I was on hunt for, like looking through an old kaleidoscope, and finding the tiny slip of an Eden down the lens…

Mmm… This was it!

Digital Camera

And like young Mary of the Secret Garden, I imagined pushing back the gate, though here there really was none… and stepped into… sunshine.

Digital CameraLight and shadows skipped around the cobbled rose garden circlet, fluttered up and over white-columned manse and grand urns of rainbowed petunias, gleamed on English ebony ironwork fencing and walked fingers up the side of brick and stone gate markers –where a Robin-like bird perched sentinel.  Again, like the one leading Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Mary and Colin

…And a corner of Heaven rose inside me.

Digital CameraFresh scented air all about this tiny circle slipped round my shoulders like feathery lace, and I felt like you might see in a film where suddenly all grows quiet around the leading character.  Where only she is alive to what is happening … while people not too far away at pretty little café tables under sunny umbrellas are freeze framed, cups in air, smiles held momentarily as they were…faces upturned to each other in their own stories…

And nothing but prettyprettypretty winging… here…there…on birdsong. Trees whispering… roses bowing and curtseying to the breeze…  And me, clicking my camera in the here and now, envisioning what this place… once… might… have… been.

The courtyard oasis welcoming families to grand porch steps.

Maybe a stately lawn where the café and back alley now stood…

…and horse and carriages parked out on cobblestone lane.  (I think, like Miss Buncle, I hear the echoes of Dickens and Austen and Bronte…right here… from across their pond.)

And…to what it remains.

A small, faceted jewel… like a fresh air rose window… a glimpse to the past, a gift for today…cosseted in the middle of bustling commerce.

A star-shell in His open Hand, like those of whispery sea sound when you place them close to your ear…and rainbow-pearl insides when you find them open-face upon the wet beach sand.

I AM here, He breathed then, as zephyr across my cheek…

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©   Pam Depoyan

* Opening line to Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca

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Sharing with:

  Tell Me a Story   

Chasing Blue Skies

   Scattering the Stones(If you haven’t been to Thankful Thurs – Scattering the Stones, UK — click her lovely round button to stop by and enjoy!) 

Imperfect Prose  at Emily Wierenga’s place 

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About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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12 Responses to Just around a corner…a whisper waits…

  1. This was beautiful…made me want to keep reading! Where were you?

    On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 12:56 PM, Writing… Apples of Gold wrote:

    > ** > Pam@Writing…Apples of Gold posted: “. [Wandlebury] was a very small > town, of course a sleepy, sunshiny place that looked as if the rush and > hurry of the modern world had overlooked its existence. Barbara found > herself in a big square, paved with cobbles. There was a fountain in the > mi”

    • Thank you, Pamela! I hoped it would keep the reader’s attention… 🙂 This is a little place here in town…about a 15 minute drive for me. I was just out with my camera, looking for those English countryside looking places to photograph… (If I can’t go to the real thing, I can dream! 🙂 ) So glad it captured you too!

  2. rachel lee says:

    I AM here.

    this is just beautiful! the pictures worked with the words so well to keep my heart flowing along with you. ❤

  3. Those hidden places are so fun to discover even if they are only a 15 minute drive from home. Such a treat to visit with you here at “Tell me a Story.”

    • Yes, they are… I knew this one was there, near a restaurant I’ve been to, just never drove there myself so wasn’t completely sure how to get there. But in the middle of modern places, it is a beauty preserved. And something about light and shadows in a garden that shows His glory. Thanks, Hazel.

  4. So beautiful! And Manderley? A favorite!

  5. lauraura says:

    Oh! Thank you for taking me to this little corner of heaven, my friend. I think I’ll sit a spell…

  6. Hi Pam,

    Oh I so loved your post 🙂 Your words spoke into my heart, and I felt like I was right there with you. Thank you for that blessing. The roses were beautiful, I would have been excited too. 🙂

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