Out to Pasture

Old Barn – SW Colorado

I love old barns.  Regardless of how neglected or useless they look, they seem to have a quiet dignity about them, an aura of mystery and wisdom.  The saying, “If these walls could talk” always come to mind when I see an old barn like this.

How many calves or colts were born in this barn?  How many bales of hay have stuffed its loft?  How many people, fathers, mothers, children, cousins, etc. have worked/played inside this barn.  How many mice have been caught by the barn cats?  How many winters has it survived?   All alone out on this lonesome prairie, the barn stood tall against the fierce north winter-winds, providing a safe haven for the livestock.  Even wind blown snow flakes took shelter on the barn’s south side; each flake huddling with other flakes for warmth and companionship until they grew into massive snow drifts surrounding the barn.

At what point did the barn’s owner stop maintaining this old barn; painting it to protect the outside from the elements, patching the roof to protect the inside, replacing windows, oiling its hinges, and mowing the weeds to enhance its beauty?  For much of the barn’s life, I’m sure it felt very alive and useful–protecting livestock, storing hay and grain, welcoming the mischievous play of children, and hosting occasional barn dances.  Lots of coming-and-going, hearty conversation and active use of all its parts kept the barn in good health.

Those days are long gone.  The unpainted wood is drying out, showing its age and losing strength.  The roof leaks.  Doors creak in the wind.  Weeds have overtaken its base giving it an unshaven look of  neglect.  Absence of livestock and human interaction, the walls have lost their ability to hear; all that remains on the inside is dust, even the field mice have left.  What is left for this old barn?

Thought for the Day:  Age means nothing.  I can’t get old, I’m working.  I was old when I was twenty-one and out of work.  As long as you’re working, you stay young.   George Burns  (1896 – 1996)

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