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You'll find this stone structure in the garden behind a home that's been dug free of Vesuvius's wrath. It sits on a grassy island covered by a canopied strip of grass and vegetation that's about 40' long between two channels that are each about a foot deep (marble lined).
At one end up to the left there may have been a small waterfall filling the channels which ran down the length to flow into a fish pond at the right end. This toy marble structure of steps and patios sits halfway between the pond and the waterfall and the steps in the foreground apparently led down right into the water.
How big was it?
Take a look at the dead leaves on either side of the steps. They are not from some mutant giant tree, but normal oak leaves. I imagine children sat on the stones in the foreground, their feet in the water and played with soldiers or dolls on the steps probably loading them into toy boats which would be cast adrift to find their way into the fish pond. It mimics the action toy trains of today. Kids could start their boats on either side of this thing (the steps on the other side of this structure were identical, also leading into the water) or maybe farther up by the waterfall, and watch them flow and sail on the current down to the pond. Maybe they'd race them in the separate canals. They probably had toy furniture that sat on the patios, perhaps this was a wonderful outdoor dollhouse or boy's fort (accounting for some of the scrapes on the decks).
I'm guessing the structure's at least a couple of millennia old. A backyard play set on a lush garden strip under a canopy for the kids behind a warm, seaside mansion under an endless summer sky. You can sense the ghosts of the children who, thanks to Vesuvius, never became adults. Well, I could... kinda... especially in that light. And this garden strip was surrounded first with a grape-trellised patio and beyond that a tiny orchard filled with fruit trees.
It looked so new, as if made for children just yesterday... but it was a long time till that yesterday, huh?
There's a poem here, I wish someone would write it.
Incase you missed this in the comments below, Michael McMurma created...
Blogger mcmurma said...
The stone here speaks in whispers
and echoes, full of laughter
of the waters revealing glances
and softened reflections
on the smiles of a hundred children
Drinking water from a common cup
we shared a bread
with the taste of honey
and strolled together
towards the twilight, dancing
in the company of fireflies.
No, they were not her children
but their smiles are ours forever.