I drove up into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan last week. It is pretty much just a forest up there. Just a few hours north lies an unfamiliar world.
The two lane road I traveled was lined with trees. Occasionally there would be some kind of home, maybe a trailer, old house, cabin or shack that would show signs of life or a former life.
Remnants of the living.
Long abandoned, broken down and over grown “spots” on the earth.
It occurred to me that where I live, where I have always lived, I don’t see decay. When something gets old or unusable like a house or a building, it gets torn down for something new or remodeled to be something better.
Living in middle class America I’m not used to seeing rough and forgotten things. I’m not comfortable with decay.
I don’t like to see things get run down and uncared for.
Life is gone.
Spot after spot filled with long forgotten rooms and broken windows. I wondered where the people were that lived there and how long it had been since they left. Did anybody still own that space? Did anybody still care? It really bothered me.
I wasn’t so sure what disturbed me most? The fact that people once lived there and they just left their “spot” to rot or the fact that I had to give witness to the decay? I had to look at it and wonder what happened.
I’m not used to looking at decay and wondering what happened.
I mean, it’s just not normal to have to look at broken and forgotten “spots”, right? It’s not right to have to admit that something went wrong, very wrong. Life no longer exists in certain “spots” and decay lives there now, brokenness lives there now, emptiness and weeds live there now. We should’t have to see that, right?
Maybe that is what is wrong, I am not good with what’s not good. I want my quick fix, my easy way out, my perfect view.
There are lessons from decayed “spots” that I’ve to learn. I’m ill-equipped for life in many ways. I’d trade ease for experience in a heart beat, opt for feeling good than doing good without batting an eye. I’m quick to turn away from the ugly because it doesn’t make me feel good. It’s always about me, isn’t it? What do I miss when I don’t wonder and consider? Decayed spots reveal more of my character…or lack there of.
Looking at spots today and wondering what happened, it’s not comfortable but I’m giving it a try.
Thanks for wrestling with this one.