In 2015, writer Kathy “Huddy” Hudson ’71 collaborated with photographer Roger Foley on a book about an acclaimed garden in Ruxton, Maryland — On Walnut Hill: The Evolution of a Garden. In addition to writing about the 46-year history of the garden belonging to A.C. and Penney Hubbard, Hudson wrote seven prose proems. Here she offers a poem written while sitting in the Beale Memorial Garden when she was on campus for her 45th reunion.
What calls me to this garden?
Is it the pealing of the carillon,
the rush of the creek, today swollen and fast?
Could it be the song of a cardinal in the dogwood,
emblematic of this Virginia home,
or of two blackbirds high on the chapel roof?
Or is it the weeping willow still here,
the ancient yew, statuesque now in a limbed-up stance?
Perhaps it’s the muddy daylilies, flattened by last night’s flooding,
unbroken and aflame along the banks.
Possibly, it’s the encouragement of natives:
clusters of tripart, river birches poised like sculpture,
white blooms on sweetspire bushes that punctuate the green,
or redbud trees that dangle heart-shaped leaves.
Like us, they endure both deluge and drought.
Maybe it’s the old paths beside the clock
that lead to a new bridge
and winding walks above the stream,
benches tucked in dry stone alcoves
offering rest after days spent reaching back,
connecting then and now
truths first glimpsed here:
Eliot’s “moment in and out of time,”
Hesse’s secret of the river,
“…always the same and yet every moment new.”
For many years Hudson has written biweekly essays for the Baltimore Messenger and feature articles for Baltimore Style magazine, as well as other regional publications. She is currently at work on a project for The Washington Post Magazine.
Note: On Walnut Hill‘s photographer, Roger Foley, won two 2016 Media Awards Silver Medals from the GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. More >