The morning shadows are long this time of year. Frost is a frequent visitor, often taking hours to dissipate, especially in areas that are shaded. The tone of the natural light also takes on a different feel, creating landscapes that are distinctly Canadian and distinctly winter. People are often amazed to learn that we hardly get any snow here on Vancouver Island even though we are part of Canada. Even with that being said, many a day we find cold landscapes and vignettes that show the true character of this island we love so much. Today we are going to explore a wonderful red barn that faces the rising sun as if it reaches out to greet the morning and herald in a brand new day.
The shadows creep along the field’s floor, reaching out towards the wonderful red barn that adds a dash of color to the frigid vista. This farm is well-known to folks familiar with the Cowichan Valley area, presenting itself as you come around a gentle bend on the highway. In the far distance we see a tree covered hill speckled in the last vestiges of frost from the cold night. In a few hours, it would all be gone. Why are we drawn to scenes like this? Are they connections to our past, to simpler times, that we all yearn for? It’s easy to romanticize pastoral settings like this one, longing for a time when technology didn’t exist let alone run our lives. These days scenes like this are so easily overlooked as we all whiz by at breakneck speed with our heads down checking out the latest text message or email from a friend.
A closer look reveals a waft of smoke from a fireplace in the area, just behind the roofline of the barn. Details present themselves that speak of a hard life on a farm. In our modern times competition and big agricultural business are dominant forces, making it much harder to make a living with this lifestyle than it did even just 50 years ago. We often wonder if one day this way of life will disappear forever.
In this day and age it’s so easy to overlook the obvious, to not see things that are right in front of our very own eyes. Perhaps this is why so many of us yearn for connections to our heritage, almost as if hanging onto these memories by a thread will bring them back to life.
What do you see in the old barn in the field?
Photos are © Scott Johnson – All Rights Reserved
Originally published at Toad Hollow Photography
Recent Scott Johnson Articles:
- A Settler’s Story
- Sweet Desolation
- The Second Life Of A Rusty Tugboat
- Reaching For The Heavens
- Greet The Morning