There is an old church in my area. Abandoned by both faith and faithful. It needs to begone, to make way for a shiny new supermarket. But there are a few diehard “preservationists” who perhaps went to services there half a century ago, who have been trying to “save” the structure.
Save it for what and for whom? After all, it’s not the Great Pyramid or anything nearly equal. It’s a historical artifact represeneting a time that has come and gone. No doubt the building appears in countless photographs. Certainly it will be remembered by those needing to do so. But it is dead. It is gone. Packrats, why are you holding on to this?
A gardener who has a great year and an abundant crop cannot stop time and remain at that point. The crop must be harvested. Some eaten immediately. Some given away. Some preserved in jars for leaner times. Some saved as seed for a future garden. Eventually that year’s crop will totally vanish.
I attended a discussion Saturday afternoon, topic of which was “Minimalism.” I thought to myself, “…great philosophy indeed, should one be inclined to ‘pack and up go’ as you stock only the essentials on the shelves of your life.” Now, that’s not to say you can’t keep old pictures or those 45rpm records from 1967. The Minimalist knows the difference between value and memory, and understands when sentiment truly is important.
You can stand outside that old church in December singing “O come all ye faithful…” but they will not come. They are no longer here. The ghosts of those passed cannot return to the material world, and their decendants have no reason, no desire to keep the walls up. For those of you who wish to stop the wrecker’s ball, know that the memory of the church will dwell in your minds until you die. For anyone who comes after you who has cares, queries or concerns, they’ll have stories and pictures I’m sure. So let go.
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