When the Past Knocks…
November 11, 2008|Comments (24)
This was my favorite house at Westville Village (where we spent Saturday afternoon). I could move in tomorrow if they promised to insulate the walls. Seriously — that would be the one request. Oh, and also a little thing called “internet.” The Harris Farmhouse spoke to my soul from the moment we rounded the corner and recognized the scent of sugar cane syrup cooking. There in the dappled light stood a dog-trot log home with an open breezeway linking the main house to the kitchen
On the back porch, dishes were set to soak in a slightly cracked earthenware kettle beside a folded dishcloth and a lye soap cake overlooking a garden and paddock with sheep. My heart began to sing. I confess to sitting on the steps and simply soaking it all in. Aside from internet, I truly believe that I was born in the wrong generation. As I sat on the splintered stairs, I watched Josh explore the chicken coop and offer reassuring pats to the sheep — I was overwhelmed by a sense of belonging.
Are we generationally displaced? Throwbacks to a forgotten time? As we wandered from house to house on narrow clay streets dotted with mule droppings and scarred with wagon wheel tracks, I can’t help but wonder why our civilization believes that we have progressed in comparison. In the pre-industrial age, there was no global warming or home owners associations to measure the length of your grass. People lived in communities and knew that each member of the town provided an important craft be it shoemaking or basket weaving. Those traditional skills linked the early settlers into more than just a subdivision — they were a family. Can our society really say that we have improved since then?
Of course, medical sciences and other advances have certainly impacted society for the better since those of us outside of the third world do not have to worry about contracting Yellow Fever or Tuberculosis. But the sense of community? Lost. How about truly closeknit families? Rare.
As Josh and I reflect on our time at Westville Village, we keep returning to the same phrase: “Let’s not let our children wander around such a town and mourn the lack of a closeknit family. Let’s make sure that they wander through such a place with confidence — knowing how to churn butter, make soap, weave, build tables and chairs, spin, quilt, garden, cook over a fire, and also knowing that they didn’t spend their childhood parked in front of a television but making memories.”
What are your favorite childhood memories? What memory do you think your children will recant to their children as a best-loved tale? Are you generationally displaced, too?
Read more about our trip to Westville Village in A Quiltin’ Man and check out homesteaders cattle in Irish Dexters: 4 Door Sedan Bovine. What’s up with all this homesteading talk? We’re wannabes. Plain and simple: wannabes.