If you ever drive through a small town called Canale, go down Main Street, past the corner ice cream shop with the flags, make a right and then look left behind all those trees. There is a house with a yellow mailbox. If you see a blue house with a sign that reads ‘Pure Maple Syrup’, you’ve driven too far. Just drive around the block and try again, this time slow down.
Yes there are a lot of trees, but if you do slow down and pay attention, you will see the yellow mailbox. How does the mailman get to it? He does, trust me. Now that you see it, park your car back at the ice cream shoppe and walk.
The mailbox is not your typical American standard. This one looks foreign, a rectangular box with the word “POST” on it. The box is clearly aged and worn, most likely from the weather but the colour is still fairly bright. Perhaps protected from the sun by all the trees and their shade.
Near the mailbox starts a narrow gravel and dirt trail. If one were fortunate enough to visit this place, they’d see how the trail widens as you go along. Soon it becomes a path of pebbles and suddenly the thick trees thin out to an open clearing. You’ll find yourself standing on a path made of stone octagons leading to a garden of flowers and small trees and bushes. At first glance, depending on how familiar you are with gardening, it is all just breathtakingly beautiful. Another glance, and you may see the neighbouring strawberries next to the flowers. Or the pears on the tree. The bushes of rhubarb. The pretty plants of basil and carrot tops.
As a guest, one shouldn’t linger too long outside someone’s house, so please resist standing still for too long. Keep walking to the front porch. There is a round table and some chairs with brightly coloured cushions that seem to have recently been occupied. And next to the chairs is a very large yellow rose bush that could easily eavesdrop in any conversation had on that porch. There is a scented floral wreath on the door. A real flower wreath. Like a braided flower crown hanging sideways. So many charming details. You are not dreaming, this place is real.
Go ahead and ring the doorbell. The lady that lives here is very nice.
To be continued…