It begins with a garden. A beautiful iris garden. One I gazed with wonder as a child from the comfort of a moving car.
Brilliant explosions of blue and yellow, purple and pink, and colors I am not sure they have found names to describe its beauty.
Every time we'd drive West Ox. Whether we went to fair oaks or some other destination beyond, that garden, seen from the road, was always the highlight of my trip.
Many years pass. I move away and return. And that garden, though stored lovingly on the dusty shelves of my mind, remains a permanent memory.
Only now do I finally learn the history of this place that teased my imagination, and it turns out I was not alone.
This heaven on earth did belong to someone, a woman. Though hers, she did not greedily keep it only for herself. All were welcome to come and linger in the beauty and color. Artists came to paint it, and photograph it, in desperate attempts to capture one moment in time.
For 46 years that garden grew. Each year luring poets of brush and pen, like a siren's call. Till that song fell quiet this year. With the passing of Margaret Thomas, a shadow was cast on that garden that now lays bare of the color and is overgrown with weeds.
With its guardian gone, the future of this influential spot is in danger of being assimilated into the generica of our everyday world, where before it was 5 acre heaven, its sole purpose to transport you out of the harsh realities of the now and abrasive walls we call "real" life.
How many lives had she changed by simply allowing this haven to exist. Now I, like so many others, might never step on the fertile soil where Margaret's garden grew.
She wanted the land preserved as park land, so more lives would change, and her labor of love would continue firing the imaginations of those who graced its path. If only those who govern would hear. She calls them still, do not let this niche of Beauty that I carved out for the world be swallowed never to be seen again. Do not let the siren's song cease.