Ben and I drove today, over toward Neosho and out into Oklahoma and I watched closely for hints of green in the brush and trees along the roadsides. At first I thought it was still hopeless but sure enough, here and there I did find just a faint tint . Not much but enough for a promise. I'll take it. And yesterday, while admiring my crocus, my sister mentioned a neighbor plucking a sprig of forsythia that suddenly appeared on the south side of her porch.
Next will be the weeping willows. They always begin swaying their long yellowing tendrils in the breezes. Then you really know. Spring is coming. I promise.
I love watching for old barns and homes that are falling down. True, you don't see too many any more. As I grow older so do they and, like myself, they won't last forever. But when I see them, I return momentarily to childhood and the houses and barns of that time. There's just something about the architecture of the years of my growing up that makes me nostalgic.
When I was small we moved many times. Each spot was a rental as we didn't have much money and cost was the major factor. The only house and land I ever really felt was home was a very big old country home with lovely old woodwork, transoms above the interior doors, wonderful closets and a room of my very own...with a lock. On the property was a big barn, in which one could play,a garden, some outbuildings, trees to climb and lilac bushes under which I could read for hours. There was also a smokehouse and an outhouse, necessary at the time.
I loved the place with a passion. We lived there for several years and I cried when we left. I still feel a tearing at my heart when I think of it. Once I wrote a poem about it. Sometime, if I can find a copy, I'll post it here. Right now, I doubt if I could even locate it. It seems as far away as the house and barn and they disappeared many years ago. All that is left is scrub brush and trees. The land has grown wild again. But each time I drive by the spot my heart aches for what is gone.
I believe that's what I'm looking at when I watch for the old barns and falling-down houses. Not necessarily the structures, but the memories. The feeling that someone should take care of the property before it crumbles into dust. People lived there. People loved there. Children lay under the lilac bushes and swung from the ropes in the barn.
We waited for the crocus and the forsythia to bloom and for the springtime to come.