I drove past abandoned homesteads on my way to the farm. It always gives me a sad feeling as I pass them by. What happened? Did someone die without children to carry on? Did a crop failure precipitate a farm sale? Did the economies of scale force consolidation?
I know the realities of farming, but still my heart grows heavy and quiet. I cannot stop myself from imagining chubby children playing in the yard, and chickens clucking around the garden as they chase down grasshoppers. I hear laughter echoing through the doorway, and a milk cow bellowing from the barn for her calf. I sense the tears from the birth of a still-born, and the long ride home from the cemetery. Life was hard here. Many moved on.
Today, the old barn and sheds lean away from prevailing winds. They are weathered, and grey, and lonely. How long, I wonder, before they succumb to the winds and gravity, before nature takes them down? How long, I wonder, will I stand against the wind?