There used to be a clay tennis court here, inside this tennis-court-shaped rectangle of chain link fencing. Child Robin watched anthill activities in the sand while parents competed against aunt and uncle. “Dig in, Mouse!” yells Dad. I learned tennis here, sometimes in bare feet. I suffered raspberry prickers searching for lost balls, chased dogs off the court, invented ridiculous games with cousins.
Jonathan and I played against siblings and in-laws while our kids sat on the old wooden bench, maybe watching anthills, fetching balls.
Now it’s a dense, rectangularly fenced forest. I hadn’t tried walking through for years until today. 15-foot pines crowd so closely that I had to push and bend and duck, tripping on undergrowth. The dogs gave up. I pushed on, whipped by pine boughs, lassoed around the waist by twining bracken.
It’s hard to plow through the grown-over past. It grabs you. You can get lost in there.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 153: words, TOTAL = 50,173; 9,827 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.