Rural life and small towns are the best. Everybody knows everybody and roots run deep. I’ve heard about Aunt Mag’s place for as long as I can remember.
Aunt Mag wasn’t my aunt, but the aunt of my friend Maggie. Maggie grew up in the same small town as my dad and their moms were the very best of friends. Growing up Maggie was like an aunt to me and now that I’m all grown up she’s a good friend.
So yesterday my parents and I piled in their Jeep and headed out to our good friend Maggie’s house. She now lives on Aunt Mag’s land, and the old house and barn are still there. The corn had just been harvested so we were able to pick Maggie up and drive right to the old barn and house. As we rounded the corner in the Jeep we were suddenly able to see the damage.
I think we all gasped when we saw the house, or what was left of it. The roof had caved in and only pieces of walls were still standing, broken off and jutting toward the sky. Trees were growing up and through the house and broken windows.
Next came the old chicken coop. You could tell that it had once been a good-sized coop, but it too had collapsed and was being overtaken by the growth of the forest.
Finally the old barn came into view. It was obvious someone had found what they thought was an abandoned barn and helped themselves to as much barn-wood as they wanted. The funny thing about abandoned buildings is someone still owns them and they are probably not forgotten.
It was a challenge getting through the briers, vines, and other forest overgrowth, but we made it into the barn. It was so beautiful. Yes, it was terribly broken, but there was great beauty there as well.
It was as if I had stepped back into time. The stalls for the cows were still mostly standing, there was tack hanging on the exposed beams, and the loft was still sturdy enough to explore.
I was careful where I stepped as I photographed the loft and a furry little friend we found there. Tucked tightly between two support beams against the back wall was a furry little bum and the tail of a raccoon. It never did get his head out of the corner!
I made my way back down to the main level and outside. As we tromped our way through the woods over to the house I looked back and took this photograph.
I can imagine how majestic it was all those years ago, and how proud Aunt Mag and her family must have been of the fruits of all their hard work. I don’t know how much longer it will stand, but I do know that even in its brokenness it’s beautiful.
Nature has overtaken the area and as the trees grow and the barn deteriorates they are becoming one. The barn is as old as the trees, older than most. It belongs. It fits, and it’s still home, if only to the squirrels and the raccoons.
And that my friends, is the story of how I captured The Beauty in the Broken Barn. Click to Tweet!
Until we meet again,