Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Old Farmstead

The valley is mostly green on this beautiful spring day. Off to the southeast is a group of tall green Elm and Oak trees scarcely visible among the other foliage. Sometime over the years, we named this location The Old Farmstead.

The Corp of Engineers demolished The Old Farmstead to establish flood easement area for Clinton Lake. The farmland became part of the Wildlife and Parks hunting area.

Each spring we visit The Old Farmstead. Red cedars planted in rows provide the windbreak for the ghost home, remnants of a foundation the only hint of its location. Clumps of iris and daffodils bloom along a sidewalk that leads to nowhere. Fragrant overgrown lilacs flourish as if decorating the grave of a loved one long deceased. Could a fenced clearing have been the garden?

We feel the spirit of the family who lived, loved and laughed in the yard, acknowledging their presence as our neighbors.

One day a young lady asked if she could park at our house and walk down to The Old Farmstead as it was her grandparent’s farm. She could remember visiting there when she was young. She didn’t stay long. She said it made her sad.

The lake changes how we perceive the land and soon there will be few who remember how it was before. However, we will remember The Old Farmstead as a special place, not yet ready to send it back to the land forgotten.

Note: I submitted this essay to the Lawrence Journal World as a tribute to an abandoned farmstead in the Wildlife & Parks area above Clinton Lake Federal Reservoir.

1 comment:

Linda in Erie said...

I loved your essay, very thought provoking. When hiking in the woods I sometimes run across a clump of daffodils in the middle of nowhere or half-dead apple trees that seem to be a row and imagine someone must have had a cottage in the area at sometime in the distant past.