Sunday, October 25, 2009

Inside the Hedges

photo courtesy of

I remember the hedges that sat in the middle of the pebbled driveway of our house on Long Island when I was very young. I don't know whether they were privet or boxwood or laurel, but I remember their smell, spicy and green and full of the ocean and unmowed grass. Low down, the otherwise stiff branches softened and if you pushed and pulled, you could make a hole and through that I would climb or crawl and then I'd be inside, crouched on the cool dirt. The branches were so thick that the sun could only make lacy light in there and sound was muffled. I don't remember how long I sat inside the hedges, but it might have been forever or at least as long as the summers we spent there. There was nothing to do in there but sit and look upward, high up through the tops at the blue sky and birds flying overhead and then down, toward the moist earth and trail my fingers in the dirt, displacing pebbles and maybe moss, something ripe. Never eat a mushroom, I'd think, staring at its pale white surface and the brown, ominous edges. The children who lived next door were calling, their shouts muffled and then growing louder as they drew nearer. Looking for me. At the end of the hedge, hands grasped and pulled, making a hole to enter, the sound of leaves rubbing together and wood giving way. There you are! We found you! And then no silence but bare feet and others crouching with me, hiding from the others.


  1. My, oh my! What a fantastic photo! The symmetry is perfect. I am a sucker for photography. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  2. Beautiful Elizabeth! I loved hiding in such small places as a child. I made forts everywhere -- in closets, the woods, the bushes, the basement with old boxes.

  3. Beautiful photo. I love your writing with it...makes me think of growing up and all the adventures had and to have.

    You visited my blog some time ago and I kept your comment because I knew I wanted to respond. This was so long ago that I have to hang my head in apology.

    Landau-Kleffner...still searching. Thank you for that suggestion. We'll be meeting with more specialists soon...

  4. I've posted where I got that photo -- off the big, wonderful internets. I'm sorry I didn't give credit where it was due! Thanks for the comments, everyone!

  5. I think children all do that. At least I did. I hid under trees and on docks and sometimes, when things got really bad, in a closet
    But the best places were always were there was sky to watch above.

  6. What beautiful writing. It makes me think of this playmate I had who lived in an old abandoned castle in Scotland! We had to drive through a long road surrounded by hedges to get to her place, and all the rabbits would hop across to hide in the hedges as our car approached. See? Now I want to go write about that! See, that's what good writing does, it makes you want to write!

  7. Elizabeth you did paint a picture of the girl who fell and had a seizure in Italy. I was happy that you were there to fix her skirt.

    I wish someone had put something under her head immediately.

    It made me think that I wouldn't know what to do if someone had a seizure.

    Elizabeth, what should we do, could you give us a mini-lesson on here.

    Love Renee xoxo

  8. we used to play an outdoor game of hide and seek with the neighbor kids when I was little. My favorite hiding place was a hedge like yours ..... the dirt was always dry under there - and there was an amazing amount of room once you tucked yourself in deep enough. Such a happy memory :)

  9. So vivid, these lovely images.
    Our cat, Latte, enjoys this same hiding place, in the boxwood. Now, I know why.



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