Today the Giant Golden Buddha suggests that we conjecture about the past…
Turning a patch of soil behind the house, I felt a muted clank, the distinct contact of metal on metal. I didn’t hear it so much as feel it transferred up the long wooden handle of my spade and through my garden gloves. I buried the head of the shovel again gingerly, to dislodge the object from the bed where my peas and spinach would eventually lie.
A muddy clump surfaced, and I punched away the dirt with my thumbs, revealing a rusted horseshoe. I looked up at my small farmhouse; the original structure was built in the late 1700s. The barn is now a two-car garage, but a brick remnant of chimney still stands between the windows in the loft. You can see where the horse stall stood, and there is a door where horses would have entered and left. I was curious about the horse who wore this shoe and like to imagine it was a dusty white mare with brown patches and a brown mane, named Doris.
The families who lived here 100, 200 years before us were farmers. I held up the horseshoe to my neighbor. He crossed over from his own garden and shared the story of how he and his son unearthed a horse skeleton one year. We both smiled at the history of our space and went back to our work. As I continued digging, I wondered what I’ve dropped in gardens over the past two decades and whether it was interesting enough to make someone, someday, pause and speculate about me.