Echoes of the Past January 2, 2016 11:37 - Michael Joslin
At the head of Greasy Creek an abandoned homestead and an old field-rock cemetery remind us of the past. Time has marked both sites. The chestnut walls of the house and some of the outbuildings still stand, but porches have sagged and fallen, and one large barn lies flattened on the ground.
The kitchen brick chimney has fallen away from the wall.
Inside, patches of wallpaper remain to tell us of a family's eye for beauty, and an abandoned phoebe's nest shows that the dwelling place still shelters mountain denizens.
On a nearby ridge, several flat stones crown the crest.
Some lie prone, losing the resting places of long departed folks. Others stand tall with fading scratches etching names of the dead.
Sir Walter finds a comfortable spot in the old house, lying in the doorway as dogs long gone probably did.
He also feels at home among the ghosts on the hill.
As the new year begins. visiting these reminders of lost generations tells us that the past lies behind us leaving its traces and influences, but irredeemable. Those hardy farmers whose bodies enrich the woodlands have left tantalizing hints of their lives, but each year these clues fade. The etched names even now tease us with their lack of definition.