Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Barn in the Valley

Our house lies in the nook of a valley. Not a grand valley, not vast and wide. Intimate, protective, the hillside embracing the back of the house like a bent arm.
The front has the view: the field with the cows and the apple trees; the hedge along the lane, that has become invisible by the bushes, but that you can visualize, because you know it is there. The farmer’s tractor passes along it, and our own car coming back from grocery shopping.
Blocking part of the view is an old barn. Looking out on the valley you want it gone, it is in the way: get lost, we don’t want you!
Not that we don’t know what is behind the barn. We do. We have seen it from other angles. What’s behind it is the brook, with the grasses and weeds growing in its bedding. Part of the total of the valley. And though we cannot see it from our terrace, we imagine it. It is a secret corner that is yet known to us. We guess the colour of the weeds, the curve of the stream, where the cows are on the slope.
We are talking about what it will be like when the barn is gone. How would it look? What would we see?
Could it ever equal our imagination?

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