Justin Passing

This morning was one of those mornings when I get on the highway and I just want to keep going. It was overcast and cold and calm. There were lovely bits of snow sticking to the tops of hay bails in the fields along the highway, making them look like giant frosted shreddies. Small flocks of Canada geese were starting their journey south. Time seemed to slow down due to the chill in the air. It was the perfect day to make a road trip to Camrose. I had a feeling it was going to be a good morning for pictures, so I brought my camera along and saw this fantastic abandoned house really close to the highway. It was on the opposite side, so I made a mental note to stop and take pictures on my way back from picking up some paintings at the Camrose Public Library.

The windows were all smashed out of the house, and the trees growing around it were too close and too thick for them to have been planted like that. I have no idea how old this house is....but here is an interior view, from what would have been the living room.

After taking these photos....I drove about five minutes before I had the first few lines of a poem inspired by what I saw, so I found a safe place to pull over and wrote:

we left this land

made nomads by economy,

bent to the toil of our dreams.

'mine' it said,

the tools in the garden

the tired farmer in his field,

shielding his eyes from the burning sun.

the wheat, waving him 'good-bye', constantly

as the wind is constant across this grassy expanse

'good-bye....go home' the wheat waved.

'we are home' they cried.

'no', the fields rippled, 'i won't yield to you.  just ask the sun.'

it blazed hot in reply

and would not soften,

so we left this land.


Oh the inspiration that strikes just in passing. Stay warm.