Many people who know me have heard about the old fence. The home I grew up in and identify as my formative home was demolished many years ago to make way for a road. Visiting home over the course of a few years, I saw the transition. Something I find bittersweet about the whole thing is that the back yard fence was left standing for some reason. When one travels on Deacon Road, there is suddenly a stretch of fence for no reason. It’s like a tombstone and, indeed, one of my favorite old dogs is buried on that fence line. Even though I am bothered by the fence, I think I would be very sad if it were removed. When I see it, I see the house and my younger self. I am a teenager learning about sculpture from my cherished mentor. I am falling in love for the first time. I see my dad who is no longer alive. I see my siblings, friends and cookouts. I see my grand dad alive and remember how he was still there in spirit after he passed away. I see going off to college. I see my wedding day, the day I left to come to the West Coast. I see my oldest nieces and nephews as little babies. I remember hugs and tears each time my visits were over.
Since the whole of Virginia seems to be sitting atop my favorite art material, I could dig up some clay just about anywhere. Today I went to the old fence. The clay was the most gorgeous color and I have high hopes for this very special sample. I left the clay pot thank you note, as i have done at all of the dig sites, but I placed this one on the fence. I am hoping that the rain will wash the bright color down the last board and be a little reminder for a few days.
I also want to make note of the weather that day. It had been sunny and warm all day, until I was nearly at the site. A really terrific storm came up suddenly-sideways rain, thunder and very close lightening. I pulled off the road until it passed. I dug the moist clay basking in the silver lined cloud glow of freshly showered Virginia. (Is that too much? It feels like too much but I’m going to let it go). Just as I finished digging and reached the car with my sample…round 2 of the storm hit.