Wars… and wishing those buildings could talk

Posted on March 12, 2016 by

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Seeing a Facebook friend’s post, today, of all that remained of an ancestral home… a hearth and chimney… I felt compelled to post one of my own. While I can’t say for sure if it is the remains of an “ancestral” homestead, it is located in Nicholson Hollow. If not an ancestral homestead, it’s likely a place with which ancestors would have been familiar. I took this particular photo back in November, 2015.

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Once again, I’m drawn to a quote from The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, when we hear about Walton’s Mountain being “fought for land”.

Grandpa: “This is fought-for land.”
John-Boy: “Battles right here?”
Grandpa: “More than one: flood, fire, freezing weather, diptheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough, loneliness, hard times.”
John-Boy: “I thought you meant wars.”
Grandpa: “Them too.”

For whatever reason, I’m particularly moved by “Grandpa’s” prioritization of “wars”, and how they differ from John Boy’s perspectives on war and history.

There was a time when I looked at sites from the perspective of how the experiences of wars made an impact on surviving structures and surrounding terrain. Yet, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate deeper dynamics. Though I’ve said it many times before in reference to the Civil War, four years of war does not define a much larger history. Though wars of armed conflict may indeed have a significant part (“indelible marks”) in the story of structures, there are also many other “wars” with which people dealt. Does it take having lived life longer to get to that point in time where the bigger picture of life lived by others in history is appreciated?

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. – 1 Corinthians 13