Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost (1923)
No doubt my love of the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost is related to my affection for the 1983 film adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. When two of the main characters – Ponyboy and Johnny – recite this short poem and discuss its deeper meaning, their words became permanently etched in my memory as I watched this scene play out untold times. (This also helped as I had to memorize and recite poetry for a grade in my senior English class!) However, these words recently came back to me in a different way.
If you live in this area, you will be familiar with the golden glaze of pollen that covers everything during this wonderful time of year. As lovely as the new blooms of spring are, the layers of pollen can present an array of problems from seasonal allergies to spring cleaning. Mae Burns, who owned Anchuca from 1978 until 1998, found a practical way to tackle this situation, which also coincided with the busy Spring Pilgrimage. She changed the paint color of Anchuca from its traditional white facade to a golden one to disguise the pollen (aka “Anchuca Gold” at our local Sherwin Williams). And so, the plan remains for Anchuca to Stay Gold!
Note: Like Anchuca, many of Vicksburg’s historic structures started out as red brick but were later painted or stuccoed over to help seal and preserve the old bricks. Planter’s Hall is an example of original red brick structure, and at Christ Church, there is an area that shows the original red brick.