During my workday, I traverse a county that is largely rural, complete with the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, a large lake (Merwin) and two rivers, the Lewis and the Columbia. And wedged in between are a variety of family size agricultural operations. From berries to fruit, vegetables to lavender, cows, goats and sheep, we have a little bit of everything.
During my travels, I have talked to at least one landowner whose deed was signed by Ulysses S. Grant in the late 1800's. Farms on quarter sections that are bursting open at the seams with the history woven into the very fabric of the property. We know the history of the occupied farms, but what of the ruins that dot the countryside? Depressions in the ground that once cradled the foundation of a home full of memories of families that have since vanished. Only the trees and flowers they lovingly planted to celebrate home are left to define those that are gone. The whispers of laughter and tears and conversations are lost to the winds of time.
I found this tree today, standing by the side of the road. An apple tree planted long ago by unknown and forgotten hands. And wrapped around and over the tree was an equally old grape vine whose tendrils appear to hold and caress the the branches and leaves. Together they wait to be reclaimed...they rock in the wind together and reminisce about their lives. And they bow their heads in mutual disdain for the traffic racing by on the road. For they know the true value of time...they know each moment must be savored and loved...those moments that will never come again.