The unforgiving wind howled and the cold came in through the cracks and missing walls of the abandoned house. It was no longer loved, no longer tended. It was ignored and forgotten, abandoned. There had been some caring people who lived here once. They had worked hard to make a go of it in this place. On each hard day they looked after each other as much as they could, but the days were dusty and dry and wore their fingers to the bones. Sometimes it took all their strength to make it through the work that filled the day from sunrise to sundown.
The loud howl of each gust of wind magnified the size of each crack and each missing piece of the house. The mournful sound created a trail of loss that whistled between the walls, exited the windows long ago smashed away and came back into the house, dancing and swirling as if twisting in agony and despair. The house greeted each morning with hope, but when the afternoon winds came up, it was not strong enough to keep its tenuous hold on the emotion, and any dreams of a warm secure future disappeared as the desert clouds raced over the dry shifting sand.
Desert tumbleweeds passed the house on a daily basis. Sometimes one or two of them would pile up against one of the walls and rest for a while, vibrating as every breath from the desert urged them to keep moving. The house was happy for those times when the tumbleweeds stopped to rest, but it knew the visits would never last, and more than that, it realized the visits were never planned or deliberate. The visits were short lived, and by chance. The house had no control over them and no way of attracting or keeping visitors within its walls.
Sand blew in and gathered in the corners of the house, building up in drifts that rippled as time deposited more sand each day. Slowly the house began to realize that it was becoming more and more a part of the desert around it. The house was taking in bits of the desert with each blast of wind and with every passing day. There was one day when a bird began building a nest in the crook between two rafters, but after a strong wind storm blew it down, the bird moved on to find a new place to roost.
The house was sad.
Then one early morning, a cold ray of sunlight crept across the rough floor and settled on a patch of sand in a corner between two walls that had built up to the depth of several inches. Slowly, inch by inch, the sun slid across the sand to light up a green leaf on a small shoot of a tender weed. Dawn awakened the new growth that had found a warm sprouting spot in a corner sheltered from the wind. In this small way, things began to change.
This was the start of a new day that breathed life into the house. This was the beginning of a new family and a new family story. This was the day that hope found root in desolation and began to spread. The house would be a witness to a different story than the one that had come before, but it would once again be a host to the living.
All things are possible.
Please come back tomorrow for a new “Weed Image of the Day” and let me know which ones you like.
We and our weeds are so much more than what we first appear to be.
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One Reply to “Desolation”
I just finished this post when wordpress crashed so I apologise if this duplicates. I love this piece. Your writing is so visual,I was the house and felt everything as I read. The bird that built the nest but left because of the storm was a lovely poignant piece to add to the sadness. The one line ‘The house was sad” made me rest there momentarily with the impact then the next para led into the next phase slowly which, to me is just perfect.
I wrote about a derelict house as well (poetry) on my blog on May 10th 2013 you might like on supposerose.wordpress.com Cheers.