Stones of time

The chimney lay exactly where our neighbor said it would, deep in a hollow flanked on either side by steep hills of red clay. Its top lay tumbled backwards, stone in piles covered in thick matts of moss and lichen, yellow daffodils poking their coy heads up through last falls parade of maple leaves. A scant few stones remained where the hearth would have been, the heart of the house being the last which remained to speak of its presence. Stately maple and poplar trees spread their buttressed roots where the kitchen and bedrooms would have been, ruffed grouse nesting under wild rose bushes where a mother had kneaded biscuit dough for hungry children. It is an odd feeling, standing among the humus and rubble of a life long gone, straining to imagine how the house had been, how the mother sounded calling out to her children from the porch, the wind chimes sang in the breeze, tiny feet ran and giggled, and fires cracked and popped in this very chimney, in this very home, in this very hollow so long ago.

Sweat rolled down my back as I stooped to roll back the matt of moss to reveal thousands of tiny chisel marks pecked across the flat surface of a sandstone slab perhaps 3 feet wide and 4 inches thick. Who had been the man to make these marks? Where was he born, in what year, where did he work, and did he love this stone as I do?

Immediately the joy, reverence and wander replaced the heat, sweat, and pain from the arduous trail blazing through a sea of wrathful briers and rose bushes, groping with talons outstretched for any gap in our clothing. As I warmed my back with the solid weight of each stone being carried to our awaiting mule, I felt without doubt the most solid connection to this land, this earth, and the true virtue of building our home with our hands. Perhaps someday someone will wander how our house looked, how we laughed loved and lived, as they gaze at these same precious lovely stones of time. IMG_8971IMG_8967IMG_8962IMG_8919IMG_8917

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20 Responses to Stones of time

  1. Tommy says:

    Read your post 3 times because I liked it so much……’re a good writer.
    So true, really makes you stop & think.
    Beautiful stones.
    I have a 610 Mule too & love that thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Piddlewick says:

    Do you plan your own project with them, something that will add to their story and history?


  3. jlough8788 says:

    I love savoring the questions of who was here before and how they lived. Stones are the best objects to propose such questions, indeed. Beautifully written, by the way. I’ll be looking forward to your first book.😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anne Rieschick says:

    A beautiful posting. Thanks, Mr. Chickadee.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. azgardener says:

    Your prose is very inviting and hypnotizing. Very well written. If I may suggest when your home has finally been built that you consider writing a period novel of some kind. I think you have a true talent for telling a story that invites the reader in and in their mind participate.

    Grace and peace to you,


    Liked by 1 person

    • mrchickadee says:

      Thank you for the kind words, I will have to get around to writing something eventually.


      • Richard wsldo says:

        I love how you quote Roy under hill ( also an inspiration of mine)in your beam hewing video.
        Though due to physical constraints am unable to build my dream home.
        A log home somewhere on a wooded lot ( to be determined at a later time& date) I’ll continue to live vicariously through your posts& blog thank you,


      • mrchickadee says:

        We are glad you have enjoyed! Always keep the dream alive!


  6. Mark says:

    Your writing reminds me of a favourite author of mine, Wendell Berry. You both evoke strong images of the things you see and mingle them with your own impressions and ideas. Wonderful stuff. You’re pursuing the life I might have chosen myself had I been brave enough to do so. Best wishes to you and your wife.


    • mrchickadee says:

      I’ve not had the privilege to read Wendell Berry, but am honored by the comparison. Thank you for the wishes and comment!


      • Mark says:

        Wendell Berry, I believe, is a native of your state, residing in Hall County. Now advanced in years, his writings cover a broad swath that include topics such as sustainable agriculture, the importance of local community, environmentalism and in more recent years, politics, among many others. Should you ever find time in your obviously very busy lives, I’m sure you’d enjoy his works. Should you ever decide to write something of your own, I’m sure you can count me as a fan. If there’s to be any salvation for our society, it will need to come from like-minded people as yourself.


  7. mrchickadee says:

    Thank you for the kind words, I will have to make time I think, sounds right up my alley.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. knaturalbuilder says:

    One of my favorite blog posts. You inspire me. Thank you.


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