How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Things That Inspire in Me a Story: Abandonment

There’s this house I pass on the highway as I drive to the next town. It’s been there as long as I can remember, and apparently it’s been there as long as most residents of my town can remember, because it’s old. It rests in the middle of a cow pasture, and there are no other houses in sight. A mature tree, perhaps a pecan, grows right up against its front, almost before the door. There are others growing just as close around the other walls. When the trees are wearing their leaves, the house is nearly hidden. The house must have been there first. There’s a hole on one side of its roof that the weather gnaws bigger every year; there’s a board sagging down like the house is growing tired. In fact, the house is starting to lean, as if it’s expecting support to come from something young and strong -- something that is not there, and never will be.

I may be the only person who’s inspired by this old farmhouse. But it speaks to me: of years and happiness gone by, when large families lived in small houses and were content. When they worked the land and derived pleasure from simple things, like new crops, baby cows, and dresses made from feed-sacks. I wish I knew how long this house has stood there. I wish I knew its family and when they left and if its last residents knew they were the last to live there. A railroad slices across the land at a distance behind it; how many trains has it heard chug by? Did this house have companions -- a barn, a chicken coop? It was left standing … as if it held such an important place in the pasture’s history that it deserved the honor of remaining.

Abandoned things speak more eloquently of the past than similarly aged things that still play a role today. They have watched their significance fade away; they live only in the past. They are frozen there. And when they’re pretty or picturesque, they draw me. They inspire in me a story.

What kind of story would you write for this image I found on pinterest?

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