Why I Love Old Barns

An old barn half hidden in weeds struggles to hold board and soul together. Its brave story catches my imagination. Birds now nest where hay once filled the loft and tiny creatures scurry about below finding tiny morsels of grain left from long ago.

I get out of my car with camera in hand, climb over the broken fence, and pause to take in this amazing slice of history. I step from the warm outside sun through sagging doors into the cool quiet. A sanctuary that’s survived beyond the years of hope and purpose. The now slatted roof and leaning sides takes perseverance to a new level. She no longer holds within her arms warm, lowing animals, wake each morning to the early clang of milk pails, or the soothing words of a farmer as he greets each cow by name—but she is still beautiful and stands with pride.


Rows of jonquils growing on a country hillside bravely carry the dreams of people who once lived there. Their joyful yellow faces planted row on row still give pleasure nodding in the breeze.     

A legacy of laughter and tears soaked into this soil—all that’s left of generations who loved, laughed, wept, and one day had to leave the land—their hearts lingering in the brown earth beside the daffodils.

My sisters and I caught fireflies in the dusk on this very hill. We looked for the first star to appear, waved goodnight to the thin slice of moon just appearing over the moon trees. We listened to our Daddy’s stories of boyhood adventures out West. Felt our Mother’s reluctance to break the evening’s enchanted spell by going inside, turning on lights, making ready for bed.

Raising their faces each year to the sun’s warmth—the jonquils write my memoir.