2 Timothy 2:20
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.
The flesh of trees captivates my imagination. All my life the original farm-house has stood at the north end of the garden. A half century later, I uncover details I never noticed before. The last discovery was the shadow of paint on the window casements. It changes the imagined memory of the building’s appearance, a house with lovely blue windows.
I am awed by the beauty of its whorls and knots and grain and colour gradations. I love how weather bleaches and dims the fibres of growth rings as sure as time increases the number of grey hairs on mortal heads.
The textures and patterns appeal viscerally to my sense of order and beauty. Even the gradual release of moisture results in splits and fissures that leave character, wisdom in the lines and wrinkles of a beloved elder.
I wonder about the hands that crafted the dove tailed corners. They are engineered and crafted in such a way that when it rains the water always flows to the outside.
Who was the one that swung the awl or axe that made this. It still stands, almost a century later, secure on a stone foundation of boulders, a huge flat stone acting as the stairs up to the entryway.
The old lady has served many purposes. She began, of course as the family home, my great grandparents, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, my father and his sister. My dad has lived his whole life, 90 years, on the farm. It is steeped in a memory that transcends experience. My memories are my father’s stories, an oral tradition infused in my bones and sinew, that catches my breath in my chest and makes it hard to swallow. I love this place of growing and leaving and returning and longing.
In a second life she was a barn, housing a milk cow, a pair of ponies, a few beef cattle. Four puppies were born in the manger on Christmas Eve. The closest we came to an irreverent name was Prince, and although no one said it out loud, I always added ‘of Peace‘ in my mind when I was reminded of his borning day.
These images are beyond expression, beyond the limit of words, burned permanently in dreams.