Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Time in Perspective
One thing I've learned while researching the history of a small farm community turned suburb, a one-room schoolhouse turned successful district school, is that time passes in less than a blink. People and the times in which they live are larger than life in that moment and then gone from memory just as quickly.
The women in this picture, from left to right, Grace Parsons Cole, Marion Parsons, Martha Parsons, and Julia Jerome, were young girls playing in a cherry orchard and climbing in haylofts. Before they knew what hit them, they were in charge of the future. Now they are part of the past that few who are still living remember.
The Brass Bell will tell the story and provide a marker in time to remind those of us who would take for granted our time on earth that what we do here counts, and that we've only a few minutes to get it done.
Back in Oregon, work has resumed on the book. Thanks to those who contributed to my efforts on this last research trip to Syracuse. This past weekend John and I stumbled upon an old log cabin in the hills outside Portland. On the Oregon Trail, the home is preserved by the local historical society. As I stood by the old hearth, imagining a cold winter day in 1840-something, a deeper understanding of the importance of historical preservation crept into my psyche. I will try to work as hard to finish the book on time as was the volunteer who was digging weeds in the front yard of the old homestead. It wasn't that long ago that a family who crossed thousands of miles in a covered wagon piled log upon log to build the cabin in which the family lived for nearly a century. I will strive to be half as brave as they.