Out in the old boneyard, the sun slants low in the sky and the old tree casts its shadow strangely, reaching for the graves with bony fingers. It’s as if a hand is held out, beckoning the tombstones to come and be gathered up. The old tree collects the graves for a special display. He picks them up and places them here and there, and then he picks them up and replaces them again and again, unable to decide which way is more becoming for a final resting place. It’s a macabre designing of the outward symbols of death, and the old tree is a master at it.
|The old sentinel of the Gate.|
The shadows play tricks on unsuspecting visitors to the boneyard. They are never consistent, but instead creep this way and that in a random fashion. At night, when there is no sun, the shadows are still there and are even deeper. Night shadows have a special darkness that cannot be penetrated by light. They hide by day and slip out at twilight, when the painful rays of the sun are safely doused. They move restlessly all about the yard, and the old tree plucks them up if they try to escape and throws them back to their tombs. His fingers are long and cold, and so far he has kept them all in the graveyard. He is old but he is a vigilant guard.
All around the grounds, the residents witness the Earth as she finally begins to slip into her season of death, and not a moment too soon. The colors are always too much for them, but the gray of winter is quite soothing with a frozen timeless beauty. Soon the noise and disruptions the hot sun brings will fade away, and there will be peace again. The deep white blanket of ice will hide many of the comings and goings of the shades, but the old tree stands guard, ever watchful at the Gate.