Down the Backroads | Looking Through the Eyes of My Heart"Posted on May 9, 2023
Looking through the eyes of my heart.
As humans, it’s very easy to draw conclusions about something by sight alone. But we don’t all see things—or in my case, places—in the same way. What I might think is beautiful, another may see just the opposite, and vice versa.
I remember hearing my mother talk about the first house she and my father lived in right after they got married. It was the upstairs of a large country house an older couple had rented to them.
My mother spoke fondly of their home and the couple on many occasions, and I envisioned what this place must have looked like at the time they lived there surrounded by rolling fields and tall trees.
Several years later I was on an assignment speaking with a farmer who had purchased this property long after the owners had passed. I was fairly certain this was the same place my mother had remembered so often, but I wasn’t 100 percent sure.
As I arrived, it felt familiar to me although I had never physically been there. Next to a greenhouse was a large, very old house that was being used to store hay. It looked as though it had not seen human inhabitants in many decades.
When I mentioned to the owner the name of the older couple who had once rented to my parents, he affirmed that indeed it was their farm at one time and that was the old homestead.
To him, it was a somewhat dilapidated structure suitable only for storage, but to me, it was still the showplace I had imagined and heard about from my mother. I stayed for hours exploring the place, feeling the presence of my parents, and imagining what they saw in those days.
In reality, it was an abandoned old house, but to me, it was a part of my heritage. At some point since that visit, it fell or was torn down. But, whenever I travel that way, I’m reminded of how beautiful that house was to her, and how I saw it in the same way despite the hay, the dried-up boards, and the glassless windows.
And I saw it that way because of the stories I had been told by my mom and viewed the old house through the eyes of my heart and not through the eyes in my head.
There are many places I’ve traveled to over the years that hold fond memories. Many of these places are close to home, and I still find time to make my way to them if only to reminisce.
The old road that led to a creek where I camped with my dad. An old cemetery that was located on the farm where I grew up. The house I lived in when I started first grade. By the way, it’s still there and I can always hear the school bus coming when I pass by.
Many of the places I hold close to my heart are most likely overlooked by everyone else but me and they are treasures I will have forever, as I travel down the backroads.