While visiting my hometown this past week to help my parents with the wild blueberry harvest, I took my camera out to explore some of the areas of my youth, mainly the fields around the old homestead that me and my friend Meranda used to frequent.
You see, we were kind of horse crazy in our early teen years, and Old Man Russell had a little farm just down the road. He had cows and work horses and lots of cats. He liked to sell and trade the horses often, so there was always a new resident to welcome. We often walked down to feed the horses a carrot, clean out the barn for Russell and sometimes even go for a ride around the fields. It was a pretty perfect setup for a couple of horse crazy young girls.
Russell died some years ago and the old homestead stands empty now, the house long ago torn down and the old barn now collapsed. The vegetation has grown up so that it practically envelopes the abandoned buildings. Where trails and pathways across brooks used to be, now only stands a wall of shrubs and trees.
I was struck by how different everything looked to the picture I had frozen in my memory. It’s funny how you expect things to stay exactly the way you remember them, frozen in time. It’s just not the truth. It reminds me of that Robert Frost poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
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.
Despite the fact that nothing gold can stay, there is still plenty of beauty here. You just have look for it.