This old barn led me to the New Bedlam Farm. When it collapsed in the snows of 2010, I drove by and saw Rocky standing forlornly in front of it. It looked as if his world had collapsed, even though he had never lived in the barn. I pulled into ask Florence if I could take a photograph and she looked at me and said, “I’m deaf and he’s blind. We are riding it out together.” Two years later, we have begun tearing this old barn down. It is an eyesore, a hazard and full of rotting junk.
Lots of scavengers love to take apart old barns, sell the barn wood and the meta. Ben and Ajay will be knocking it down, and then I hope to find some of those scavengers to haul the rest of it away. We will probably dig a burn hole with a tractor and burn a lot of the old into ashes, and then bury them. The barn is perhaps the most dramatic symbol of rebirth and resurrection, a living monument to change and the inexorable laws of life – we will all wither, crumble and pass out of our time. If the barn is a symbol of brutal change, it is a symbol of rebirth to me. We are giving birth to our lives again, deciding once again that no risk is too great for a meaningful life.
As the barn is taken apart, so we are rebuilding our lives, seeking to live up to life’s promise, accepting the challenges of a new way of living. The barn means a lot to me. I owe it a lot. I wish there were some more dignified burial for it, but the barn is like a chicken. You don’t waste too much time and money on it when the time comes.