Sunday, July 10, 2011

The barn

The first time I saw the old barn that was to serve as our garage I was intrigued by it. Built of limestone a long time ago, the ivy covered walls were beginning to crumble away. Inside; the enormous beams that supported the roof sported the scars of ancient generations of woodworm.

The barn really captured my imagination. Everyone that visited the house that summer was invited to look around my barn and write a short story about it by the beginning of September. What a mistake that was – my inspiration flew out of the window.

Sometimes on a hot day, I would just go into the cool barn and look at the walls. I loved their creamy yellow colour, no stone was the same size or shape and looking closely, I could make out the faint traces of fossils. At the far end was the timber frame of what once had been a doorway. The floor had been concreted years ago and was showing more signs of wear than the ancient walls! Still no inspiration came to me.

I discovered that under the village the remains of a network of tunnels had been found in recent years. Where had the blocked up doorway led to? What kind of lives did the people live who had called the barn their own in the past?

I never did write that short story about the barn. The people who came and went through the now blocked up doorway, carried their secrets away with them.