Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My property sits on the banks of Church Creek, a tiny tributary twisting off the Ashley River. A few summers ago, Jason built a walkway from the cultivated back yard, through the 100 feet or so of wild marsh grass to the edge of the creek.

It's not much, just a little square, big enough for two lawn chairs, but it is perfect.

It sits at an angle where the creek bends around a tiny island where rumor has it several of my mother's pots and kool-aid pitchers are slowly returning to nature, having been forgetten there after many a summer night camp out by my brother and his friends.

I like to go back there, especially on days like today, a sunny mid-seventies blue skied reminder of why I love the South. I can sit there for hours, watching the cardinals, the mockingbirds, the tufted titmice and the bluejays making forays from the island to the "main land". Over head circle the family of turkey vultures, which at least look romantic when circling high enough in the blue to disguise their true nature.

Mostly what I hear is the sound of the wind through the pines and oaks. The spooky rustlings and creakings of the marsh grass, the rustle of the fiddler crabs. Occasionally, I can hear a car crossing the little flat bridge on Highway 61. And if the tide is slack, the sound of mullets breaching the water's surface, jumping for their lives as a turtle or a catfish closes in on them.

It's where I would go when writing my novel, when I was getting ready to write a particularly painful scene, when I knew I was about to delve into some painful aspect of human nature. It's where I would go after the writing was done, to sooth my frazzled mind.

It isn't a posh piece of pluff mud to brag about, my little Church Creek. But it's my little spot. And I like that the racoons and the possums and the rabbits and the fiddler crabs all think so too.

So if you come by and I don't answer the door, walk on around back, through the gate and follow the path. I've got an extra chair back there.


jaz said...

Why, Janet, look at you getting all poetic and stuff.

dan said...

Every writer needs a place like that. I'm still looking for mine ... but now I know what it looks like.