The image is filtered and cropped to reflect the feeling this alley brought to me one cold October Sunday morning as I walking through the little village in Lebanon, TN, enjoying the colors and the company. The concrete walls seemed to emanate the warmth that was missing from the air brought in following the rains of the prior few days.
Tinges of soft moss green touched the brick column that was the corner stone of an old building. Even the cracks in the cement held strings of that same green, a remnant of the summer past.
There was the vague scent of dampness that seemed to come more from age than the weather, that slightly acrid but not unpleasant smell of decay.
The buildings that surround the perimeter of the small square all wear festive colors that belie the general downtrodden state of the little shops that inhabit their walls. Collections of dusty remnants from days and lives past clutter every available space from tilting wooden floor to sagging wooden ceiling. Old tables, glass cabinets, bed frames, dishes, piles of old patchwork quilts, wood carvings, mantle clocks and knives, well honed from generations of use. I’m fascinated by the assorted debris of other peoples lives, lives that came long before mine most likely. I envision the homes once ornamented by this eclectic blend of grace and utility. I hear snippets of conversation as the women of the house gather in the kitchen to make pies and Sunday dinner and the shutter of the screen door slamming closed as the children race out, all trying to be the first to reach the swing. I feel the heat of the stove, not unwelcome on this cool day, and smell the bread rising in the covered bowl in the pantry.
I am carried to a time no less simple than today but different and I have a vague longing to join them on this October morning in Lebanon, TN.