Mr. G's Round Hill Lodge...
1974-2022... 48 Years Later...
We were in our teens (and some of us in our “early teens”), 20s, 30s... a few of us were of an “older age”, and, I dare say, I doubt any of us were of the age we are today. “Tomorrows” were infinity, and “yesterdays” were “last week-end”. We looked our best, we felt our best, we were AT our best, and Life too, was all the best. Gathered together, with shared and diverse interests, we spanned and transgressed the varieties of humanity, and yet, we mingled, muddled, manipulated all of the individual parts into one, coherent unit of a caring Family.
That was “Mr. G's Round Hill Lodge”.
It was a place where the music played, the bodies swayed.
It was a place where hearts learned Love, blossomed, grew, were broken, and were mended.
It was a place where true Friends and Family gathered, and together, we laughed, we cried, we wept.
It was a place where we celebrated joy, and gathered to console in losses.
It was “home”, that place where we wanted to be, where the door was always open, where warm, caring faces greeted us when we came in from “the world”.
We danced to an eclectic compilation of music, in ecstasy, we walked the meadow or through the woods in the deepest introspective contemplation of “who” we were, alone and together.
We sang... in jubilation or in woeful mourning.
It was THE place where we were never “alone”, even when we were solitary.
In 1974, 48 years from then was a time we had no cause to acknowledge. 48 years from then, we'd probably still be coming, welcoming the “new faces”, just as we'd been welcomed by the “established” who were there when we first traversed the dirt road, climbed the old steps to the sprawling porch, and walked through the front door, immediately swathed in music, lost in the crowd, finding familiar faces and soaring into awe in a mass of those who, some-how, would become our “new Family”.
48 years from then, the drinks would still be flowing, the music still playing. We wouldn't be “old”. We wouldn't be “older”. In 48 years from then, we'd be “settled”, with another or, perhaps not. But we'd “be”, and so too, would “G's”, “The Lodge”. “Home” not being wasn't contemplated, it just would never happen. We would ALWAYS have “home” to come to, when news was grand, or life dealt us a swift kick. “Family” might change, as some would move away but others would come in from the vastness of a world we'd only heard tell of. That really was the way it happened anyway. The Family was there, established and alive, but our members were as diverse as the surrounding towns, counties, states and too, from countries we'd heard of in studies, or on the evening news. Oh, but home and Family would “be”, no matter the rest of the world...
But, just as a flower grows and fades, old trees eventually shed their last leaf, drop to the earth and dissolve into the ground, 48 years ago, on a cold, wet, Winter night, our home was turned, by Hell-fire, to nothing more nor less than the ash from whence all Earth had come. There would be no more music in the night. The sounds of laughter went silent. Never again would joyful bodies sway in dance, and the wood-path and meadow would hear no more accounts of the heart. As the flames rose and fell, with them they took all the joys and sorrows, the Loves, the losses, the stories, the lives. They failed, though, to take the memories... but memories live in minds and hearts of those who carry them for the duration of a sojourn on Earth, and those of us who remain to kindle the light of those memories are, our-selves, travelling forward in our own time. The vast majority have already gone beyond mortal reach, and the rest are, today, trodding heavily, out-ward toward where-ever those who have left us behind have already reached.
And soon, as the time sweeps across the clock, the pages of calendars are torn-away and tossed, those who hold the memory in mind and heart will too, pass... away. Each moment of each day, fewer of us remain. Oh, but that's “Creation”. “Eternity” is a notion, a thought, a theory, an intangible, just an abstract construct that nothing and no ONE ever attains, reaches or experiences. All things, all beings move on, move past those who themselves are moving, at an individual pace. Villages, towns and cities rise... and eventually fall and are relegated to books, words on a page, and nothing else. People too, are conceived, born, live and soon become the topics of lore, until those who recount too, pass along.
All are allotted only one finite, limited allowance of time in which to “be”, it's often referred to as a “period” of time. In it, we do what we are able, all that we are able, if we are brilliant enough. We learn if we are clever, we Love if so fortunate and are Loved if so blessed. We hear great music created by others, and we make our own, as we do. Our hearts grow, are broken and are mended, though often, we carry the scars of of some wounds that seem to never really heal. But even in a once-broken heart, the memories are stored, safely, surrounded and protected by our will to keep them secure, alive, and sometimes we're awarded the gift of being able to pass those memories on to other whom we hope will hold and cherish them as we have done so that when our voices are no longer heard, our music is silenced and we too, become the ash from whence the world has come, some-where, some-how, some-one will “be” that place where music plays, hearts learn Love, true Friends and Family gather.
As those who have journeyed before me, 48 years later, I too, come to where the horizon is all the closer. And one day, ALL of those of us who were “Mr. G's” will gather again, as human lore portrays. 48 years... almost a half century... It was only moments ago when, to me, “Tomorrows” were infinity, and “yesterdays” were “last week-end”. There's a reason why “time” is referred to as a “period”, it gins and ends just as quickly, and when done... it truly was just that... “period”.
This year I wonder: With this little “memorial”, do I complete a sentence? a paragraph? a chapter? or is my story told? It's really of no importance which, because here it is... until, like Creation, someday will be... it never was.
48 years later... the memory is still as vivid as it ever was though the juke-box went silent, the dancing ceased, the last one exited... the lights went out.
"And though time goes by I will always be in a club with you in 1973."
"1973" by James Blunt
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