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Cozy Acres, Falmouth

Where I come from….I buy my summer flowers for planters – daisies, petunias, grasses, bluebird, silver dust – from a neighbor’s gentleman’s farm in Falmouth named Cozy Acres.

Where I come from…I recognize the owner of the farm from the tiny white church on the corner of Gertrude Avenue where I lived in the 1st and 2nd grade. She tells me she’s lived here in Falmouth for fifty-six years. She reaches back in her memory to remember me – a little girl from the neighborhood with a round face, uneven bangs from a cowlick, and big blue eyes.

Where I come from…I run into several of my neighbors also buying plants on a lazy Saturday morning wearing work out or half dirty clothes, with bedhead hair and without make-up, looking and feeling softer than we have all week. Calmer. Relaxed and at peace.

Payment for the plants at Cozy Acres is via the honor system. We put our money in a gold colored tin that might have held tea cookies at one time. Of course, they take checks, because who has cash nowadays? And after all, we’re neighbors. Respectful of one another, courteous, caring.

I love that I come from this place.

My walks and bike rides through West Falmouth take me up and down the hills adjacent to the Presumpscot River. I always pause in the middle of the bridge. I look north and south, sometimes seeing an osprey catching air and gliding high above me.

I think of Peter Gabriel’s song Solsbury Hill – its theme of a spiritual experience, the eagle flying out of the night…. “Son, he said, grab your things I’ve come to take you home.” I love that song. The lyrics and music speak to me.

Just up the hill from the Presumpscot River, I bear left onto Falls Road where the talented interior designer Nicola Manganello once renovated a country farmhouse under shady trees in her signature style – antiques and architectural interest created in a contemporary way for real people’s lives.

Passing this home in all seasons, I marvel at its beauty.

How the decorations on the wrap around porch change with the seasons – wicker chairs and brightly patterned outdoor pillows, fall wreaths, huge lantern-type porch lights, a double-wide front door with glass panels. Army green Hunter puddle boots sometimes stand under the bench that leads into the back door, not as decoration, but as oft-used accessories for working around her cozy yard under ancient trees that have stood on this spot for hundreds of years.

On Merrill Road, just a ¼ mile or so away, there is another meandering homestead named Rivers Edge Farm. The gentle gardener there is also happy to have neighbors visit, stop while walking by to chat for a minute or two, and admire his beautiful, well-tended property and flowers.

Where I come from….folks run and walk and bike. They nod and wave as they pass one another, always with a smile for their neighbor.

Kids walk to school. Football and baseball games are played just down the path from my neighborhood where both the elementary and middle schools are. There’s a school fair each June with cotton candy and a dunking machine, where some years, the principal sits atop the bench waiting for his students to hit the peddle just right to knock him down into the water.

Where we live and work is a choice. A choice for each of us to make.

Where I come from…feeds my soul with its seasons and colors and scents. Near the ocean and woods. Vivid greens and blues. Ferns. Dirt on the sides of roads to walk on where I can breathe. The scent of lilac bushes growing wild.

Home is where the heart is.

Where I come from….is home to me. And likely always will be.

Climbing up on Solsbury Hill I could see the city light Wind was blowing, time stood still Eagle flew out of the night He was something to observe Came in close, I heard a voice Standing, stretching every nerve I had to listen had no choice I did not believe the information I just had to trust imagination My heart going boom, boom, boom Son, he said, grab your things I've come to take you home….

Gabriel, Peter. “Solsbury Hill.” Atco Records/Charisma Records. 1977. Single.

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