Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened, into the rose garden.” — T.S. Eliot
Rosy is what I call her.
For just over a year, I have been living in a 27 ft recreational vehicle, one that I ‘inherited’ from the older couple who previously owned my two acres near the sea, on Edisto Island. This land stole my heart at first glance. The old RV was sturdy and workable and she’d work out until I could build my little cottage. “I’ll build a house with a tin roof, with simple and elegant trim, and I will use the heart pine countertops my son made. It will have a small porch with a hammock, and a tall gushy bed for company.” The dream to live in the Lowcountry land of my ancestors was taking root, after years of wishing and hoping.
It was also more than that. I was called to this place for some reason that I did not quite understand. It was a palpable and definite call, as I walked under a midnight full moon four years ago. That here, exactly, was where I was supposed to be. That quote by T.S. Eliot is about taking the road less traveled, about taking the risk, about going into the unknown. About trusting that when you do, if you do ….you will enter the rose garden.Truth is, had I known what was coming with the leap in the dream’s direction, I doubt I would have made the jump. Was I ready to enter the dark forest where no one else had gone before, and begin my hero’s journey?
Well, I did leap. And my world cracked open. “There is something in us”, as Joseph Campbell would say. Something willing, way down deep, I think now. I was suffocating and standing still where I was. I needed a leap into the unknown. And to trust that it would all work out. That’s also when the perfect family, coincidentally needed to rent my house. I just said yes, they are still there now, 15 months later, and they are people I adore who care for and also love the house I renovated and call Belle Rive. Kids laugh there, and an artist now makes art where I used to. Accidents don’t just ‘happen’ like that.
Back to Rosy.
The RV was worn and brown inside, pressboard, plastic, with not so ‘cute’ trailer style mini draperies. The economic wild ride began just after the purchase of Allee de Lune, in December of ’07, gobbling up much of my savings (and everyone else’s) and making the sale of my house in Charlotte nearly impossible. The cottage would have to wait. Rosy would play a much bigger part in my life than I imagined she would.
And for an artist whose heart soars in the presence of beauty, naming her Rosy was quick and early. Personify her with a name that would make her pretty sounding. A name that would make me feel better first, to be honest. But, wildly, like a rose, Rosy became a name she would surprisingly grow into. The metaphor is clear, for thorns grow alongside great beauty. The growth of Rosy and the growth in my cracked open heart kept each other company. While I experienced a wet, cold winter within her water damaged walls, the bud was forming. She is blushing with pride today, and my heart is more grateful than ever.
For the last month, Rosy has gotten a little love. Spring brought hope, as she always does. My garden which has been like having a baby in the house all summer, has kept me working outside for many hours here on my homestead, a place I am proud to say is lots more sustainable than my former lifestyle. Here are the before and after photographs, of sweet Rose of the Alley of the Moon.
She is, we are, in the Rose Garden.