“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”
― Oscar Wilde
I love history.
I love storytelling.
There is something rich about the past, about the people and things that have gone before. Some may look at an old broken down object and see junk.
I see a story.
This past weekend, I took a hike on a trail, that in it’s glory days, was an old logging road in the Smoky Mountains, until the late 1930’s, until the government took over the land for a National Park.
While the trail is gorgeous with cascading waterfalls, and stunning views, it’s richness lies in what is not easily seen.
About 2 miles into the trail, there is a small side trail, which if you go about 50 yards, you will find your first bits of treasure. At one time this was not just a logging road, but community. Men and women raised their families back in this mountains. Homes stood. Children played. Memories were made.
Dishes left behind are scattered across the mountain. Broken fragments of what they once were. Left behind, as families were forced to leave, and move on to the next job opportunity.
What would these dishes say if they could talk? How many meals were served upon them? Oh the conversations that must have gone on, over cups of coffee served in the now shattered mugs!
This old abandoned Cadillac is one of the most treasured objects off the trail. It belonged to the Superident of the logging company. One day it just quit running. The loggers merely pushed it off the side of the road, out of the way, abandoned and forgotten.
Where all had this car been? It must have been a fine automobile back in it’s beginning. Did it carry any dignitaries or people of importance? Why was it left to the side and forgotten about?
The above is all that remains of what used to be a home. It’s inhabitants long gone. Time, elements, and vandals have taken most of it away. Offering shelter, and warmth are no longer it’s calling.
Was a baby gently rocked to sleep inside it’s walls? At Christmas time, was it decorated in pine and evergreen from just outside it’s doors? Did the fire that once blazed inside the remaining fireplace make it warm and cozy throughout?
We are so quick to discard objects like these, as trash or an eyesore. But in doing so we are wrong. All objects have a story to tell. They may be battered, torn, and past their usefulness, but they can still serve as a reminder of the past.
If we listen real close, they tell us the story of what used to be.