If you didn’t know it was there you could have driven right past it. Totally hidden behind an effective screen of overgrown hedges and trees was the saddest house I had ever seen. It must have been deserted for years if the extent of the undergrowth was anything to go by.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon and it felt as though I had walked through a magical portal into a fairy tale world. The air was hot and eerily still; the whole place had a timeless air about it, as if it had been this way for a very long time. As I walked about, I had to be careful where I put my feet as it was hard to make out any paths or garden boundaries.
Everything seemed to be on the verge of falling down under the weight of Nature’s finest. She was doing her best to take back what was once hers and hers alone. It was a large house and must have been lovely once, now it seemed to be apologising for being here in the first place.
As I walked slowly around the impressively large garden, I was rendered speechless by the spread of vegetation that climbed, crawled and invaded everything in sight. Here and there were plants I vaguely recognised, like the overgrown Jasmine and Wisteria that were doing their level best to cover the house.
The garden sprawled all around the house and for some distance behind it. Everything I looked at was green, so many wonderful shades of green I felt privileged to be there. I was not invited but felt welcomed, much as an old pensioner would welcome a rare visitor.
I didn’t intend to look through any of the windows as that can sometimes be just too sad for words. I didn’t need to see a forgotten toy or piece of furniture to remind me of the life that once happened there. I didn’t want to see but felt compelled to look anyway. But the house was completely empty; nothing had been left behind and in a way that was sadder still.
As I took all of these photographs, I thought I caught sight of an old grey haired woman looking out of one of the windows at me. It was only later that I realised the woman was me, but for a moment there it felt as though I was in a magical place, and it was with a great deal of reverence that I walked away, leaving Mother Nature to her own devices…