While Michael drove to Connecticut last weekend, I got to be that curious passenger who looks out the window and daydreams. In wooded areas near the highways were long intersecting stone walls in various states of disrepair. Some had partially collapsed, their once clean edges blurred by dead leaves and kudzu, while others were still intact. And if I looked through the woods and past the walls, suburbia loomed. Which made me wonder - who built these walls? A property owner defining the boundaries of his/her land? Must have been a couple generations ago, before this interstate highway pushed through, before the land was sold and cleared for the latest greatest housing subdivision. The land, with its narrow ribbon of trees and stone wall separating the homes from the highway, bears little resemblance to how it once looked.
So my mind starts to wander along those stone walls, imagining the large tracts of land they once defined, the folks who built them, the children who hid behind them and walked along their bumpy tops. Sure, the uneven stones provide hiding places for snakes and other critters, but they'd also make a great place to hide trinkets. My imagination is off and running toward a new historical fiction story - with something hidden in a stone wall.