I came home from work today and saw something I was not looking forward to seeing. I dreaded the inevitable. I knew it was coming but I had hoped it would hold out "just a little longer." A little longer until what? Until i miraculously came up with the funds to save it? Until my parents did? Until a neighboring farmer saw a good investment? No, there was none of that, there would be none of that. I knew that but when you're left without options, sometimes hope and optimism is all you have.
As a little kid, you sometimes think structures are indestructible. When you get older, you realize that nothing lasts forever. Something that i believed would last forever had finally fallen today. Just proof that nothing can withstand the power of the elements.
Our big red barn fell in. Its the second barn to fall in since my parents bought our house 20 years ago. These things happen when you don't have the extra money to spend on fixing structures other than your actual house. Times get tough and money gets tight, you can only afford the necessities. We all wanted to save it, repair it. We all wanted to see it shine again, strong, protective, useful. The past few years though, she was only useful in adding anxiety to our lives. So we all sat, and waited for her to fall in.
I have so many great memories in this barn. Going out every spring to see where my cat chose to have her kittens. There was an old trough that she liked to hide in with her new babies. I loved exploring that barn. It was so cool to sit in there an imagine what it looked like when people actually used it. Back then it was new. I found shelter in it during the drizzly spring months, found adventure in it in the summer, heard the wind howl through the gaps in the boards in the fall, and admired her beauty as she stood like a beacon in the snow. There was just something so poetic about her.
I watched over the years growing up as she slowly weakened. I saw her shingles in the grass after every storm. I felt her sway with every gust of wind. I saw the leaks and the damage done. I saw the rotting beams that seemed to crumble more each day. Rot spreads like a cancer though wood. As long as there was a leaky roof feeding the rot, it would continue to spread. Beams broke, weakened by only water. The floor warped from the weather. Even the wildlife that occupied the barn had a hand in the destruction.
This barn was special to all of us. It was what defined our property. Our barn on the hill is now just a pile of splinters on a hill. Oddly enough, I almost feel relieved. As if the waiting was causing stress, Now that the worst is done, i feel like we all can accept and move on. Put our minds at peace about something that we once took pride in. It does hurt your pride seeing something that you care for go to waste and you can't stop it. You want to believe you can take care of everything, that you can handle everything but the sad truth about life is that you can't. There are things that you are going to lose no matter how hard you try to keep them. No matter how much research you do, phone calls you make. Accepting defeat is painful but such is life.
As someone who clings to the past, it is heartbreaking to lose something that represented the past. And yet, I can't help but think that one day, we will rebuild.