The problems of the old place will continue to develop and add puzzle to puzzle in our uninstructed minds; we may pay dear for our whistle, but we shall have the whistle anyhow. After a few more years of experiment and failure, or success, as the wheel turns, we shall probably come to the conclusion to let the grass and shrubs grow as they will under the trees, and let the rest go, which will, I am disposed to think, be wholly to the advantage of the looker-on. But while some vestige of vigor is left to us, we shall think the puzzle part more interesting than the solution, and so struggle happily on, setting for ourselves ingenious examples, to be painfully worked out perhaps to a wrong result. Interest in the place will be less when we can no longer tinker at it to advantage, but to that excitement will possibly succeed the calm enjoyment of those who sit under the tree they have planted, and partake of the fruits of their own vine.
As we look up to-day to the trees, upon whose tops we could look down three years ago, we begin to realize the profit of our labors, and to feel that we may even live to take pride in them. The birds which sing in their branches, and build their nests among the twigs, thank us sweetly for the shelter thus provided, though their harmonious chatter adds to the precariousness of a morning nap. The shrubs expand with vigor, the flowers we have planted flaunt gayly, the vines are climbing to the roof-tree. The spot not long ago so desolate and unpromising is now sheltered and verdant. The dull red walls of the house have taken on a mantle of green, as it begins to nestle into the shadow of the upreaching branches, that will erelong overtop its chimneys. The raw freshness has largely disappeared, the new place is melting into the old, and in a few years more people will have forgotten, as they so soon do, the former conditions, and will cease to realize the importance of the changes made.
The beauty of stately expanses, of deep solitudes, of extensive lawns, and broad park-like spaces, we can never attain, but travelers on the village highway will look kindly through the overarching trees and say, "A pleasant home is there, and a fair outlook on a quiet scene".
Already the Willows of the boundary stretch up to hide us from the rear. The Pines are showing dark once more, against the hill sunbrowned by the September sun. Yellow leaves are shining on the Elms and Birches, and the shrill wind streaks the green grass with bright-hued foliage, torn from the Maple boughs. The gray-colored blossoms of autumn flowers gleam from the shrubberies, and the low-declining sun casts long shadows across the turf. Soon will a nipping frost bestrew the lawn with wrecks of summer glory; the birds are gathering for their southern flight; the year is past its prime. A few short weeks of hectic color, and then the end, the sleep, the long dull silence of winter, the sheets of snow, the chains of ice, that bind the earth until her re-awakening.