When we planned on Sunday to have an excursion Wednesday, we just assumed the weather would cooperate. When it started snowing yesterday, and then snowed and rained all afternoon, I started having my doubts. But today, the sunshine broke through the clouds, turned the snow into puddles, and the air warmed with springtime. A perfect day for an exploration!
My sisters and I and some friends from church ventured forth to enjoy a day off in the beauty of God’s creation. We visited their building site (they’ll be our close neighbors, it turns out!), had a picnic lunch, and then decided to haunt a local ghost town, Spokane.
It is hard to imagine people once living here, attending school, inhabiting what are now mere shells of homes, piles of wood and rubbish and old rusted nails. But once, people had lives here in this beautiful little meadow, and the big, two-story house wasn’t overgrown with birch, and it didn’t drip water through the roof. The chimney once gave smoke, and the upstairs bedroom was lived in by people, not a family of bluebirds. The apple tree was young and fruitful, the house was whole, and people had lives within its walls. How fast we fade and are forgotten! Who were they?
The little ghost town sprawls in an open meadow, and remnants of later days, forgotten later days, are scattered farther into the overgrowth of trees. An old crumbling stove. Ancient automobiles with rust-eaten bodies, rotted cushions, shattered glass, and polished chrome.
Moss dripped from branches bejeweled with gleaming lichens. Old rotted stumps crumbled softly underfoot, and tiny mushrooms flourished in the fertile moist earth.
We haunted the town for more than an hour, enjoying the quiet, the creeping life of things living close to the soil, the smell of wet trees and fresh grass. I have a feeling we’ll be back.