Old Barns and the Stories They Tell - Part 1
Old barn, what is it that draws me to you? Is it your shape, the color of your wood, or is it the mystery of what your chambers would tell me if you could speak? But you do speak, don’t you?
I’ve never been able to resist you. You whisper to me, calling me from your place among green pastures where cattle stand idle around you. I hear your soft voice drifting on the wind from your perch high on a hillside. Sometimes I feel you brush against me, nudging me to look a little deeper in the woods where you sit broken and forgotten. You have touched my soul and I think perhaps you are my teacher.
Good morning old barn! I almost missed you. You must be weary as your voice was barely audible. What’s the matter old barn? Have they forgotten you? Is that why the weeds are threatening to cover you up? You have served them well and you can be proud. You were one of the small ones. No skilled craftsman laid your logs; that is apparent. When the winds took your roof, they left you broken and exposed to the winds and rain, the snows of winter. How did they expect you to survive? Get some rest old barn. Your work is done. You are beautiful to me and I will not forget you.
What's your story old barn? You look quite peaceful sitting up on that hill today. It appears you have a fine new red jacket. They must have deemed you worthy as even your doors and windows are trimmed out with fresh white paint. You intrigue me old barn. You are just too quiet. Perhaps you’re not so old and have no story to tell. Have you worked during the course of your lifetime or have you had it easy? Your attire has masked the elements that would reveal your age. Are you so vain and arrogant that you will not speak to me today? Are you just a pretty face with no story to tell?
Oh my, old barn, you are majestic. Finding you here today takes me back to times forgotten. You must have been a busy barn back in the day. Your size tells me that you once (and maybe still) provided shelter for a large herd. Was it cattle or sheep? I wish that you would invite me in. I would love to see what made you tick? Are you still full of hardware? Do you still work storing hay and grain? I can almost smell the rich aroma of molasses infused grain and fresh cut hay. . Are you a dreamer’s barn, the place where kids hide from parents and dream of farming or, exploring space? What secrets do you hold? Can we be friends?
Old barn, you are a brave one aren't you? This is not the first storm you have weathered and by the strength of your stance, it will not be your last. When you called to me, I knew you were special. I knew because when I turned at the sound of your voice, I noticed the clouds. In spite of the heavy signs of more snow in the air, the sun broke through to shine upon you. I would worry about a weaker old barn in this weather but I know you are warm. I can tell. You are an old barn built from love. You have served your purpose well and you have been cared for lovingly. Closing my eyes, I can imagine the laughter of men, women, and children working together within your walls. I am curious though. Are you a packing shed? I do not sense that your have sheltered illness or the death of livestock. I think you have been a happy old barn and I will visit you again in the Spring. Sleep well old barn, sleep well.
Read Part 2 Of The Series
- The Diversity Of Old Barns and the Stories They Tell...
Old barns intrigue me with their unique shapes, colors, and placement on the land. This is the second in my series about the stories that old barns will tell if we just stop to listen.
The barns of yesterday are pieces of a living history. They have a story to tell. Some will tell of hard times during drought or floods, disease, and war. They may also tell a happier story, of hardworking families doing it together when they weren’t sure they could. Many old barns witnessed the birth and death of farm animals, a daughter’s first kiss, or, an adolescent boy sneaking his first smoke. The attic floor of the old barn has sheltered many a dreamer, lost in visions of the improbable. Old barns are as diverse as people. No two are exactly alike. They come in many sizes, shapes, colors and textures; each with their own personality and purpose. If you take the time to sit with an old barn, they may share a story or two with you. I have learned that when they do, I learn more about myself than I do the barn. It is time well spent and one of my favorite hobbies.
My friend Casey Carden loves old barns too and is a much better photographer than me. I cannot publish this hub without thanking him for sharing his beautiful photographs for this project. Thanks Casey!
Want to know more about barns?
- The History Of One Old Barn In Washington State
Come along for a lovely tour of an old barn and farmhouse in Western Washington. Built without nails, this classic example of a pole barn has been in use for over 150 years.
- A Little Barn Raising About Barns
Barns have a unique roof shape that was designed with a purpose in mind, The spacious interior opens the barn up to a multitude of uses. But the most distinctive feature of most farm barns is the red paint job.
© 2012 Linda Crist