Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This old house

The hole in the ground -basement or root cellar - and an old fridge or cupboard just seen through the lilac bushes that have grown around the edges of the foundation, is all that's left of this old house.

Built way back from the road - it must have been constructed by Scots who moved to this country back in the 1800s. You can see farms formerly owned by them with the houses and barns constructed in the centre of the property. This meant they didn't have to cross so much land to reach the edges - more efficient.

These pieces of split rail cover a dug well, close to the old foundation.

But notice the bluey-purple in the background?

There are patches of it all around the homestead.

I've spent the past hour looking through my wildflower field guides to try to figure out these flowers. They are either blue-eyed grass or bluets gone wild... or maybe even hyacinth gone wild. Maybe one of you may know? I'd love to be certain.

Nevertheless, they make a carpet of blue and are simply glorious, particularly in the sun.

They seem to spread everywhere, bursting through the winter-dried grasses and reflecting the sky when the sun is out.

And then there are the daffodils. Clumps of them ready to pop open and say "Hello world here we are."

When I first came upon this spot, walking the dogs of course, I couldn't believe it. Someone had taken the time many years ago, to plant a beautiful garden.

The property was sold I guess. Certainly the house was abandoned - I see way too many houses and barns abandoned reminding me that small family farming is a difficult way to eke out a living.

But nature has preserved the memory of the family that lived here in the remnants of a garden. It's gone wild and spread beyond its borders, but still enchants to this day. The day lilies too remain, and though just inches out of the ground now, in a month or two will offer their gorgeous orange cups to the sun.

Poignant. Missing what has been lost.

That's how I often feel when I see an abandoned house, barn or secret garden such as this. I wonder what it was like to live in this rugged country when there was a home built here, with a fire in an old iron cook stove sending smoke up the brick chimney and warming the small house.

The various histories in the world, big and small, but often the most intimate and smallest - such as the story of the family who lived on this property once upon a time - intrigue me and let me drift to a simpler time.

May your day be filled with gardens, dreams and wonderful memories.

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