Sunday, January 27, 2008

Where The Heart Is

Recently, I wrote a bit about my experiences and discoveries while digitizing old family photos that were stored in shoeboxes, albums, and bags. In that, I also posted an image of the scanned floorplan that my grandfather used to build their family home. Last week, I went by the old place and brought a camera along. Oddly, some of the things I wanted to photograph just didn't look the way I wanted, and had remembered them. It was a cold, wet. very overcast day that landscape photographers would usually take a pass on. But I did manage to get a little of what I was after.

My mother and a younger sibling playing in the hose.

Helen, Ralph, and Jane

Charles Adcock tossing a ball with ?

Terry, Kim, and Mary Walters

The house last week from a similar angle.

I must say that the property has shrunk. It was a vast holding of land, a frontier of sorts in my childhood memories, but isn't so large that squinting is required to see all of the property boundries. The plum tree we ate from is long gone. The fig, and pear tree are looking rather haggard. In fact, I compared what I saw today to an old photo and the pear tree definately used to be much bigger. There also was a cedar tree that we used to climb in the front yard. It was cut years and years ago. The tree I actually wanted to photograph was the one that let me down the hardest. At the rear corner of the parcel there is a large, old tree where many of my mother's brothers would carve their names. I was saddened to see that all traces of this abuse have been swallowed whole by wood and time. The barbed wire fencing...and it's posts that my father and I labored on weekend after weekend have also fallen prey to the relentless ticking of the clock. To say that I was saddened by any of this is an extreme understatement. So much that I remembered just isn't the same. Time marches on.

The old fence.

You have to wonder where those memories of grandeur even came from. What exactly was it that drove me here with a camera to try and capture? What do I love about this place? I realized later what it was as I witnessed a glimpse of the love that has been shared here.

A straw dipped into a cup of water. A finger placed over it's end. A carefull and loving taste, drop by tiny drop as my uncle tenderly let them fall into my grandmother's waiting lips.

It's where the heart is.

My grandmother doing her ironing.


Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away
into the next room.

I am I,
and you are you;
whatever we were to each other, that, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used,
put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air
of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we shared together.
Let my name ever be
the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, 
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all
that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval, somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.

One brief moment and all will be as it was before,only better, infinitely happier,and forever we will be one together.

By Canon Henry Scott-Holland

Mary Louise Coates Walters
November 13, 1912 - January 27, 2008

Today the angel has flown

Ray's Oak tree last week

Lyn hunting Easter eggs near Ray's oak tree

L to R: Pear tree, Cedar tree, Norma, Jackie, and Karen

Same angle last week


Heasleye said...

What a beautifully written and poignant post. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

KariLynn said...

Jeff... That was beautiful. I love the pictures and I too remember the cedar tree we all used to climb in. We were all so blessed to be born into this large family so full of love. And we all learned that love from Mary Coates Walters!!!


Jeff said...

Elaine, You are a tenderhearted photographer, and it shows through in your beautiful photos. Thank you for your prayers and kindness.

Jeff said...

Thanks Kari. I had other photos that I did not include. We really should combine all of the photos. I could put them in an online albulm and allow visitors to make comments....this would be the way to identify all of the people in the pictures. I smile everytime I look at them.

As for the cedar tree. I remember being too small to climb it....then finally....coming of age so-to-speak. I remember feeling horribly cheated when it was cut.