It doesn’t look like much when you first see it. Just a long dirt mound, an occasional rock sticking out here and there, all covered with brittle leaves. But if you look closer you’ll find what remains of an old stone wall.
Remember me telling you about the old chimney that stands in our woods, the only thing left of an 1800s home sight? Well, just in front of where the home used to stand, in what I assume to have been the front yard, is this fallen down wall. It is beautiful, and intriguing.
When I first discovered this mound, it was hard to tell what it was. I wondered if it might be an old grave. I imagined myself uncovering somebody’s bones. I fantasized about what could be buried under there. Perhaps a bag of gold coins!!
Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
One day, I decided that I was going to dig up that stone wall and use the large rocks underneath to line the herb bed I’m planning in my front yard. I grabbed my shovel and wheelbarrow, and went to work.
I even convinced the pig to help me out! She’s a great rock mover! I told her that if she proved herself to be useful, we might just keep her around longer, but she wasn’t too interested in working for very long. Oh well.
What I thought were some old fallen trees in my way turned out to be hand carved fencing. Man, I wish I knew what this wall looked like in it’s time, or what purpose it served! Surely it wasn’t simply aesthetic. Maybe they tied a horse to it? It didn’t surround anything, it just made a semi-circle in the yard. What was it for??
Though I haven’t come across a hidden bag of gold (yet!), I have uncovered a few cool little treasures. Lots of broken glass, an old canning jar lid, and even broken pottery!
Today I found these pieces. Some really pretty pottery, and an old handmade nail. Needless to say, my rock digging has turned into more of a treasure hunt! Why were these things in the wall? Was it a common practice back then to toss broken items into these stone structures?
Though it has taken me a while, I’ve managed to unearth a bunch of good sized rocks! Let me tell you, this is hard work! The wheelbarrow I have is old, with an iron wheel… not something you want to be pushing through soft ground with a heavy load! I ended up carrying each rock by hand. One by one, I hauled them back through the woods, over fallen trees, under branches, out of the forest and across the land to the front yard where I’ve been placing them in a nice line bordering my white picket fence. I’ve also surrounded my fruit trees with a nice rock border.
It doesn’t look like much now, so I won’t show you my flower bed yet. But when it’s done I’ll let you see how great it looks! I still have a bit more to go. It takes a while to dig through the dirt and roots and smaller stones to find the larger ones, but I’m making a lot of progress!
And as I dig I let my mind wander. I imagine the strong hands of a man over 200 years ago stacking those very stones into a nice wall. I picture his straw hat and pants held up by suspenders. I think of all of the work it took him to find those very rocks, and I am thankful to have them all neatly laid before me. I wonder if he would appreciate me using those rocks for my own wall.