Like the old rural churches I wrote about in my last post, I also love the look of these abandoned prairie homes, like sea shells tossed up on the shore by an ocean of wheat and grass.
Ever so gradually they sag and lean under the weight of their own timbers and the buffetings of the wind and weather. The bony structure of the brick chimney supports it for a space of time, before it too gives out. Time is working its relentless magic and pulling it back to earth.
Who lived here and where have they gone? How many generations passed through this modest home and tended the surrounding fields before moving on? If I ventured a guess I’d say two to three.
Where have they gone? Most likely the City. That’s where the majority of rural folk have migrated to over the course of the last hundred years or so.
Children grow up in the house watching and helping their parents work the fields. Some take to the agricultural way of life and carry on. Unless the farm grows, the land holdings expand, and the family farm evolve itself into a corporation of sorts, naked economics squeezes the traditional one family operation.
After the rural schoolhouse–and how long has it been since they were shuttered?–there’s the town high school or college, and then the city’s university. “The kids don’t want to take over the farm,” say the parents: “and I don’t blame them one little bit.” “It’s a great way of life, but a God-damned hard one.” How many times have I heard such a refrain?
But this is not a post looking back to some nostalgic bucolic golden age. There never was a ‘Golden Age’, there is only Now.
Life passed through those few generations in that house, and moved on to precisely where we are today.
“It’s entropy,” Xenon would say. Meaning things move in one direction and one direction only. It’s inexorable. To seek to deny it is to risk depression, despair, madness.
Perhaps I love those old tumbledown prairie homes dotting the countryside because they remind me of the Great Passing Through, where it has been and where it is now… with You and with Me.
One last thing. Those people that lived in that old abandoned house, what was their life like? How did they experience Life’s Passing Through and how did their experience amidst that slow rolling sea of wheat and grass differ from our’s today, for the most part spent in Cities large or small? Did their experience of Life lead them to a different conception of the Godhead, or whatever you would like to label it, from our’s today?
Surely it must have. But I’ll leave those conundrums for another day. Sonny boy is out of the bath and the bedtime routine is being set in motion.
Good-night, and I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read, click or comment. You are greatly appreciated. As I sometimes have been known to say, not always in complete jest, “Thank you for being You.”