I pass by the old run down house every time I head north to pick up hay. I noticed it the first time I went by. Every time I drive by I think I should stop and take a look, a photograph. This last April after a hay run, I came home, grabbed my camera and headed back to do just that. The experience was more profound than I could imagine.
I parked on the west side of the road where the house is situated. It's far enough off the road and up a bit of a hill that I couldn't get as close as I thought. Being a farm girl, I'm conscious about trespassing or disturbing livestock. I took my fill of photos looking north to the house and decided to hike along the road to get an up hill shot and some looking south. I'd noticed paper stuck in the fence on my drives by and marveled that that stubborn piece of rubbish managed to weather our strong winds. As I approached I realized the whole place had weathered a life. There on a rough hand scratched plaque: Lillians dream home. Age 92. Died 17 June 2016.
I stood there tears streaming down my face, wondering... Did she have a family? Did her sweetheart build the home? Did she have a few sheep, a goat, cow, chickens? Did she look out to the foothills like I do, marveling at both how big and small our world is? Clearly the house has been in ruin longer than a year. When did she leave? Why? Did another family make a life in the house? So many unanswered questions. I wish I could have met her and asked.
In this time of divisiveness in our country, regardless of your politics, we must notice and stop to connect. Let us look into one another's eyes and ask the questions I didn't get to ask Lillian: Who are you? Where have you been? Have we traveled the same path, just at a different time?