Finding New in the Familiar

It’s a road I have traveled dozens of times, maybe hundreds by car or bicycle for the past twenty years but it wasn’t until I took a meander-ing walk this summer when I came upon an area of town which I had never noticed. Something new found in the familiar was a peaceful apple orchard with trees living in silent community waiting for any passerby to visit.  A posted sign indicated the park was open to the public.  Hey, that’s me, Joan Q. Public.   

A wrought iron gate led me to a path which looped around a bend to an old foot bridge that may have covered a shallow brook at one time.  This secluded gem was obviously well-maintained by
the hamlet of Pearl River while respecting the integrity of the original grounds.  I didn’t know at first it was an apple orchard until I walked closer to the trees. There were clusters of small apples throughout the branches of each tree.  I reached for one to take it home as if I had found some treasure.

Just as I was leaving a woman walking her dog approached so I asked if she knew anything about the park. She explained it was once owned by a dentist, Dr. Henry V. Borst, his wife, and children, they’re all gone and the town took over the property. Dr. Borst was born in 1850 and died in 1925. She pointed to the far end of the park to a home where they once resided.

I had to investigate.  It was clearly a house that was built decades ago with its old fashion green tile roof and large windows.  A man came out to greet me and told me that the area was public property but he rented the home.  He said I was welcome to pick the apples which people often made into apple sauce. I thanked him and went on my way grateful to have stumbled upon this park just a mile from my home.

Perhaps you have passed a familiar location not giving it a second glance.  Or have you spoken to a close friend whom you assumed there was nothing else to learn about them only to discover you’ve been blinded by this false assumption. Take another look, listen carefully, you may find new in the familiar.

August 2016


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