...Let no man say, the world itself being dead,
'Tis labor lost to have discovered
The world's infirmities, since there is none
Alive to study this dissection;
For there's a kind of world remaining still,
Though she which did inanimate and fill
The world be gone, yet in this last long night,
Her ghost doth walk; that is, a glimmering light,
A faint, weak love of virtue and of good
Reflects from her on them which understood
Her worth; and though she have shut in all day,
The twilight of her memory doth stay;
Which, from the carcass of the old world free,
Creates a new world; and new creatures be
Produced: the matter and the stuff of this,
Her virtue, and the form our practice is;
And though to be thus elemented, arm
These creatures, from home-born intrinsic harm
(For all assumed unto this dignity
So many weedless Paradises be,
Which of themselves produce no venomous sin,
Except some foreign serpent bring it in),
Yet, because outward storms the strongest break,
And strength itself by confidence grows weak,
This new world may be safer, being told
The dangers and diseases of the old:
For with due temper men do then forgo
Or covet things, when they their true worth know...
(from John Donne's "An Anatomy of the World," 1611)
Torreya Park has gained some renown as a botanical paradise, which stems from the diversity of its various habitats and plant species. Needle palms, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, not as prevalent in other areas of the park, must number in the hundreds if not thousands along one particular portion of a trail that begins and ends at the park's historic landmark, The Gregory House.
After the War Between the States, Mr. G lost his fortune, and most of his family had perished from some sort of fever--I wasn't listening very closely to the guide to hear what it was. My ears did perk up when he started talking about Mr. G's daughter Atchafalaya, also known as Miss Chaffa. The only surviving child, she continued to live in the home as an adult and eventually died there in 1916. Rob the guide said she's reported to haunt the place. She moves things around, opens doors, and can even be heard playing the piano in the evening. While I was taking pictures of various objects in the home, Rob suggested that I inspect the photos later for anything out of the ordinary. I can't be certain, but there might be a rather elongated face peering out of the top left pane of glass in this bookcase. No one was standing in front of the case at the time, in case you were wondering.
I found Rob's description of the parlor to be enchanting. This room was used for courting, and the strange looking object on the table with the china around it is a courting candle. It could be adjusted by means of that metal spiral for a short or lengthy burn time, determined by how well a suitor was liked or accepted by the parents. The parents remained in the room to keep an eye on the young couple and prevent any shenanigans. I can't imagine that Daughter and the Gold Feller would accept this kind of arrangement.
Our grandson has a rocking horse too. Instead of sitting quietly and waiting for him to make it move, though, it can rock at the push of a button and makes horse-like sounds. Not much is left to the imagination these days, not even toys.
All I can say is, woe to the people who neglect or abuse them. Miss Chaffa can see that her home and grounds are in excellent hands. She should be a happy ghost.