There are few places where the past seems alive and well, where I am confronted with the characteristics of age, items attesting to the inevitability of decay everywhere I turn. But age isn’t a bad thing. It didn’t only mean death, though some days it does. It meant a history. That’s what we heard, my brother and I, as we walked through the backyard, ruling over our tiny kingdom. We passed rusted meter maids with missing doors that had somehow mutated, becoming a mind-boggling hybrid with the earth, all of it dust and rust and malleable material, a handful of silt sliding through our fingers. We passed stacks of hardened rubber tires that had turned shiny, cracked with sun and snow. The pickup truck that came with the property surrounded by voracious summertime weeds that threatened to swallow it. We passed the knotted swinging rope dangling from the tree, so thick it was nearly twice the width of my wrist, and it all sounded the same: a chorus of enticing whispers that beckoned — story, story, story.
Photo taken July 16, 2017 at my family’s farm, Collins, Ohio.
Words and photo by Ashley Bethard.