A shovel of earth anywhere around the schoolhouse reveals a pocket full of window glass shards from 100 years of errant baseballs. Or sometimes a button, or a coin, a chunk of black coal, broken brick, or an old piece of linoleum. The wind-swept schoolyard was vacant when I first moved in. A clay gravel patch where only the toughest plants thrived; deep rooted wildflowers, poison ivy, sumac, wild grape, and blackberry vines. Slowly over the years I've amended the soil by composting, and added ground covers, water, and raised beds which in turn have brought the sounds and surprise meetings of many new friends; the brown thrasher, tree frog, toad, milk snake, and praying mantis.