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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Going Back to the Land…

 

family homestead

I just received this photograph of the family homestead in Ireland. It is being allowed to “go back to the land.” The brush  and the trees are over-claiming it, and soon it will be completely devoured by nature.

 

close-up

My sister-in-law took pictures of the homestead on her last trip to Ireland.  What a difference two decades have made to the image that is in my blog header.

The property has been abandoned for many years; I’m not even sure who now owns it. All I was told is that this is the Irish way of doing things- to let the buildings go back to the land.

When people are no longer around to be caretakers, man-made things crumble and deteriorate. As the trees and brush surrounding this house continue to grow, they will erode the wood and plaster that once made up the roof, the beams, the walls, and the floors of this humble abode. The house will return to its previous life-  as a part of nature.

The process reminds me of the burial prayer from the Book of Common Prayer that is said as the earth is ceremoniously cast upon the coffin. The celebrant prays, “… and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth; ashes to ashes; dust to dust.“   Basically, man came from dust and he will return to dust when he dies.  And so it will be with this homestead…. 

 

21 comments:

La said...

Sue,

This is just a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos and such an unusual and touching custom.

Have a wonderful Sunday! La

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Dear Sue:
While it is, indeed, a wonderful custom to let all things return to the land, it will be a sad day when this house is gone. I've always been attracted to the beautiful scene in your header. I will hate to see this old house disappear. Thank you for your insight and the lovely post.
xoxo
Donna

Jo said...

I always think ...if these walls could talk the stories they'd tell....lovely post

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

As sad as it is to think of it, Sue, I think it might be better than our way of doing things. My grandmother's beautiful old Victorian gingerbread house was completely razed for a one story ranch. What were they thinking? Touching post!...hugs...Debbie

Always Nesting said...

Jo said my exact thoughts. If only the walls could talk the stories they'd tell. So sad, and yet, in a weird way so beautiful to let the earth reclaim what was once a home.

Lori E said...

Fortunately we tend to try and save heritage homes now if they haven't been altered too much over the years.
It is still a little sad to see it go. I can picture the families that lived there. The smoke rising from the chimney, maybe an animal or two in a pen. Sigh.

Sweet as June said...

beautiful post. sad as the custom may be... it makes perfect sense. I love those photographs.

Blondie's Journal said...

Bittersweet post. I almost think it is better this way. The pictures are beautiful, Sue.

xoxo
Jane

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

This hit me as so sad and yet so natural somehow.

Jemsmom said...

I don't know to be sad or happy. I think it is a wonderful way to let things take over, but somehow so sad to lose a part of that heritage. How wonderful that you have the pictures that you do!

bj said...

OMGoodness, Sue, I didn't realize your header was your land in Ireland. Once last year or the yr. before, I was looking on the net for a photo of a certain kind and came across this one. I used it but can't remember what the post was even about. AMAZING, HU?
Beautiful place....
xo bj

Shelia said...

Hi Sue! I have often wondered the story behind your header picture and now I know! Rather sad about the sweet little house with so many memories! But perhaps the best way to let a house go.
Thanks for popping in.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

It makes more sense than bulldozing it to the ground, or burning it. But it seems really sad to me.

xinex said...

Your post is a little sad, Sue, very touching. I don't know how I would feel if that belonged to my family...Christine

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Oh dear, you really touched my heart this morning Sue. I wish you could buy that property and make it your "Irish" home away from home. xoxo

Secret Garden Cottage said...

Oh Sue, I hate to see old homes left to rot back into the ground... it's so sad. I wish somebody would rescue your family's old homestead. It looks like it was so lovely once. :)
Hugs ~ Jo

podso said...

This is such an interesting, slightly sad post, but I guess sometimes we have to let things go. I'm sure if the walls could speak, "the stories they would tell." I'm glad you have the header picture for it speaks of a happier time for the house.

farmlady said...

There is something sad but beautiful about this story. It's as if the land is taking the house back into itself. Nature has this option. Time always returns things to the earth.
It's an old story....

Sue said...

Very sad to see such a house just disapear...I agree with an above comment...It's a shame you and Mr. S can't go rescue it...I have seen houses on HGTV House Hunters International in much the same condition get life restored back to it's former self...So nice that you do have your picture of the house in better circumstances....

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was a beautiful post, Sue! It is so true that life has seasons. It's good you have photos to remember your ancestral home. I hope that maybe one day you can find out who owns the land and if you have any relatives left in Ireland.

Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME! said...

Gosh!
Doesn't this make you kind of sad?
It would, me.
Granted, it's just ashes and dust, but the thought of being "eaten"--whew ;)
This is what will happen to our bodies eventually, too, I guess!
good thing I won't know, LOL!
Very interesting post!
Blessings to you as you make your home today!
Hugs,
~me