Yesterday, I went on an adventure. My quest for photographs of old buildings took me to a little road in the county that I had never been on. My friend Darrell graciously agreed to show Becky and I some old structures. I got several good shots and saw a few things I had never seen before. I also got to hold his pet snakes, but that is another story.
One of the places we visited was an old springhouse right beside the road. It was tiny, made of weathered wood with a rusty tin roof, just a little shed no one would look twice at in passing. But look inside and you are magically transported back in time a hundred plus years.
Lined in rock, the spring comes straight out of the mountain, clear water that is probably drinkable to this day. There’s an enamel basin to catch the water, and even a little dipper hanging on the wall to drink out of. Leaves and debris have collected in it, and it desperately needs to be cleaned out, but otherwise it looks just like it did when people used it to get their water and house their perishables.
This is where Darrell grew up, roaming the countryside in search of entertainment in the pre-technology past. He commented that he hadn’t been in the little building since he was about twelve years old, that he drove by it every day and really didn’t see it any more. Yesterday, he saw it again, through our eyes, and it made a huge difference. It was something new and fresh, a glimpse of his childhood.
That was the greatest compliment anyone could pay me. As a writer and a photographer, that is what I am trying to accomplish: showing someone the past through new eyes, before it is lost forever. It will be; without maintenance, the little springhouse will be gone in the foreseeable future. Only the pictures and the memories will be left.
I hope that will be enough.