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Where time stands still

old bunkhouse

The old bunkhouse whose memories helped find the endless path which has not been disturbed by others.
Photo by Oscar Roloff.

Oscar Roloff by Oscar Roloff

These old structures I truly adore
   Used to be you could see them by the score
And you could scurry around and explore
   But now hurry, they won't be around evermore
For them to stay upright it's a chore
   Often others call them a darn bore
But alas! Soon they'll be seen no more
   So let's give them a special good-night encore

   Today, I continue to meander here and there seeking out the endless paths that are becoming a rare thing.
   There's another admonition: "Do not follow where the path may lead, instead go where there are none to follow and leave no disturbing trail for others to follow--and keep it to yourself to be amongst Mother Nature's offerings of beauty, solace, and wonderment. That path is important because we have traveled too far from it."
   Over 25 years ago, I followed this gleam to find this scene. I returned last year and this year. Nothing has been changed except for a slight stoop of age. It's near Duvall.
   Here's something I ponder as I wander here and there with my camera. It's an old Chinese adage: Jade ornaments were always attached to the clothing of the well-born to serve as a reminder that if they clinked, the wearer knew he was walking too fast for his exalted station in life and, embarrassed, he'd slow down.
   The Chinese also exalt bamboo for its everlasting strength and compare it to the durability of their nation, its resilience, its mortality, and memories of their past.
   No ancestor is hopelessly lost as long as a descendant is around who would want to meet him and listen.
   A veteran of the past reminds us: "Remember us for our past laborings on farms, buildings, and homes. It was from them that we went forward."
   Inside this old bunkhouse where a farm workman had probably lived years and years ago, I saw a sagging bed. In 1937, before I'd entered the Naval Service, I'd slept in a similar-style bunkhouse while working for a farmer. It contained bedbugs, lice, and mice. My pay was $1 a day. I was glad when he fired me after my teams bolted and wrecked his mowing machine.
   At the left of the bunkhouse is a stack of magazines falling outside. The top one is dated 1957.
   If you do go out and seek your own path of life, be it here or be it there--

Setting out on the voyage of Ithaka
   You must pray that the way be long
Full of adventures and experiences
   Better that it should be many years
Be quite old when you anchor
   Rich with all you have gained on the way.

   --C.P. Cavafy

   My own voyages have been short, yet long. I wouldn't trade my photo gleanings for long ribbons of concrete and tall spires.
   Good luck to you.