It shouts in audible whispers, calling for peace and serenity and respite for those who enter, same as it called to him. It represents a dream of large wingspan that took flight with no landing gear.
Bricks and mortar hold together the walls that garner memories and laughter and tears. The hopes and plans were laid deep within a solid foundation for the future. It was destined to be what it was at that moment and exactly what it is today.
I like to imagine the Presleys’ first glimpse of this palace, Vernon and Gladys, something so far removed from even their wildest imaginary tales. Surely when they turned up that curved drive and the colonial revival style mansion came into view, there must have been an audible gasp. Poverty had held tightly to those who’d lived nothing else for as far back as generations could recall.
Both the front and back acreage just barely opening it’s eyes from winter’s hibernation was neither manicured nor lush that March 1957. But it certainly held promise. Thirteen acres and change was a parcel unequaled for almost any home owner, never mind a poor Mississippi family who was just beyond the borders of the Great Depression and World War II. The New Deal didn’t include such realities for common folk. I believe that view was one held always by the Presleys, no better and no worse, just very fortunate and very blessed.
Pulling to the front, what thoughts were going through their minds? Eyes wide in anticipation as they took in the grounds, walking up the steps to the covered portico, standing outside the closed front door and looking up, there must have been a breath holding hesitation as they waited to see what was behind door number one.
For a dream to become reality, it starts as a seed of promise. It’s fed and watered and nourished, pruned and tied with each sprout a celebration. The Presley dream was bearing great fruit to be enjoyed within and shared throughout.
Graceland represented a vessel with which to share the unimaginable bounty that would be produced. It was a house of five loaves and fishes that would someday reach well beyond the Alabama fieldstone wall and feed the multitudes that embraced the journey.
For twenty years it was a home, a safe haven, a playground and a tangible dwelling of a daring fanciful aspiration. If it were a living being, stories of laughter and love, surprises and sorrows would echo throughout each room, shouting over one another to be heard, each tale grander than the last.
Outliving the needs of his physical domain, the mantle of a quiet spiritual realm has taken over, one Presley always desired for both himself and his family – to provide safety and security never before experienced.
For Graceland’s faithful crossing the threshold into the entryway and experiencing the air within, there is an unexplainable connection, a soothing serenity that permeates, knowing and offering exactly what each soul needs.
It’s not a house, it’s home and you are as welcomed as if he himself were bounding down those stairs to greet you. It’s purpose is fulfilled and will continue on, just as it was meant to be on that day in March so long ago when it first embraced it’s calling.
Welcome to timeless Graceland.