After she made it back to the house, she decided that she was going to devote at least two or three hours every day to the back five. She wanted to feel like it belonged to her and she belonged to it.
The next morning when she walked out of the back door, she was delighted but at the same time puzzled when she saw an unkindness of Ravens sitting on the old clothesline. She was hoping it was a good sign.
A Raven, to her, was one of the most beautiful birds she had ever seen. She admired their exceptional intelligence. A brief glimpse was all she got as they suddenly flew away as if startled by something.
When she made it to the back five, she gently touched the tree trunks as she made her way through the maze of leaves and fallen limbs. She knew it would take weeks to explore the land but she was determined.
Every day she went but she never found a trace of anything that would suggest a structure of any kind had ever stood on the land. There were no remnants of an old chimney. There were no rotted pieces of lumber. There were no shards of broken glass. There wasn’t even a piece of trash that might have found its way there after a ride on the wind.
One day as she turned to head back to the house, she stumbled. She thought she must have caught a tree root but on further inspection, she realized that it was an old stone. Carefully, she swept away some leaves with her hand and discovered that it was a piece of marble which was almost completely buried.
A small group of Forget-Me-Nots’ were growing next to the stone. “How curious” she thought. There were no other flowers on the entire back five, yet here were these unimpressive flowers with an unforgettable name, growing next to a stone.
She was excited with the find but dusk was setting in and trying to uncover it would have to wait until the next morning.
At daybreak, armed with a whisk broom and a shovel, she made her way to the back five. She carefully scooped the dirt from one end of the stone until letters started to emerge, one at a time. The stone had deteriorated badly. Uncovering the rest would have been quicker if she used the shovel but when she picked it up, a wave of sadness suddenly gripped her. She momentarily felt that if she pierced the land with the shovel, it would cry out.
She had walked through many cemeteries in her life and she knew what old tombstones looked like. She knew what the ravages of time and the elements did to them. She knew that this wasn’t a tombstone. She also knew that this stone was far too old to have been placed there by her grandparents. But did they know it was there? Was that the reason her grandpa never went to the back five? Was that the reason she was never allowed to go to the back five?
There were so many questions and she wasn’t sure if there were going to be any answers.
It took hours but she finally uncovered the stone and all the letters were revealed. She sat there as if hypnotized. What did it mean? How did it get there? How long had it been there? Was she the one who was meant to find it?
As she looked at the stone, she suddenly became acutely aware that during the past months, she had never heard any sounds on the back five.
She had never seen a bird or heard one singing. She had never seen a squirrel or heard one chattering. She had never seen a spider web, nor any critters crawling on the ground. She had never even had to swat a mosquito.
She reverently traced each letter with her fingers as she sat and listened to the sounds of silence.
To be continued…………………….