If you’ve read by humble blog for any length of time, you know I have an affinity for photographing old barns. I’ve often wondered why it is that I find them so fascinating. This morning, I think I may have come upon the answer in a flash (okay, maybe a dim glimmer) of insight.
Old barns are much like us humans as we age. We once were straight and tall, well decorated on the outside, strong to keep out the wind and the cold and protect whatever is within. Time has a funny way of doing things to us, and barns, as the years turn into decades and the decades become a lifetime.
Barns get weathered. The outside isn’t as pretty as it once was. There are cracks between the boards that let in some of the chilly blasts of wind and temperature. What was inside isn’t as secure as it once was when the building was new.
We’re sorta like that, too, I think. We get weathered as the storms of human existence beat upon us. The sheen and luster of youth disappears. We learn that we’re not as strong as we once thought we were. What we held inside in order to protect ourselves gets jostled around by life events. We are more vulnerable in all ways – emotionally, physically, socially…and perhaps spiritually as well (though I could make an argument that in some ways we may grow stronger spiritually). We’ve dropped many of our pretenses and defenses out of sheer exhaustion.
But you know what? It’s not all bad. Old barns have an amazingly wondrous weathered beauty. In many, many ways they are far superior, in the ways that count, to a new barn. They have character…new barns seldom have that quality. It takes time to build, and even more time to reveal, character. And so it is with us humans, too.
That’s why I love old barns…they tell me about life and about myself. They are reminders of days gone by, of the beauty of each stage of the journey, and about how old things can be spectacularly beautiful.
Let your beauty show as you age. You’ve earned it.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1953, Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine made its debut in Chicago. Marilyn Monroe was the magazines first centerfold.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: it takes 9000 pounds of roses (4-1/2 tons!!!), or about 55,000 blossoms, to make 2 pounds of rose extract for fragrances.