Anne McCallum

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22/5/21

“Between the idea and the reality
Between the motion and the act
Falls the shadows”

T.S. Eliot from “The Hollow Men”

Abandoned house, forgotten lives, the structure stands empty - where is the home? This is a beautiful village in an amazing landscape, but there are only shadows where there used to be a community. The trees are still conversing, the birds continue their symphony and the river sings its songs. These are the sounds I hear as I walk around this town. There are no children’s voices raised in laughter, no quiet murmur of conversations, no sounds of domesticity emanating from the houses. There are shadows of what used to be here – an empty playground, a deck chair on a porch and flowers growing in gardens. What does the future hold? Will the wildness reclaim what once was here? Will decay delve deep into this place of shadows to make a tomb of the passing years? Empty houses have stories to tell, but you have to listen carefully to hear them. I hear a faint whispering of sound – is it small lives, little mice, in the building or just the walls settling down to dust? You have to look between the shadows to feel the place that once was here.