Here is the next excerpt from Beatrice Allen Page’s unpublished manuscript, Landscape With Figures. Her final sentence is exquisite:
“Sometimes an ordinary word, when dropped into a receptive frame of mind, opens up into something quite unsuspected, like those Japanese paper pellets which, when dropped into water, unfold and expand into tiny flowers.
Driving home from town, my glance happened to fall on a sign: Greenwood Lane. Hundreds of streets must be named Greenwood; hundreds of people must bear that surname; it is probably the name of several country inns; it is possibly the brand name of some product. I must have seen and heard it dozens of times.
Yet not until today did I suddenly realize what a lovely, evocative word it is – a fresh, cool, shady word from which to escape the heat, not only in its sense but in its sound. I kept murmering ‘Greenwood’ over and over all the way home and it was amazing how it seemed to alleviate the blistering heat.
It was almost as refreshing as the cool, consoling breeze that arose about sundown to wipe the sweat off the face of the day and unpin the treetops so they could shake their leaves loose with a sigh of relief.”