Uncle Will's Barn Under the Milky Way
I was camping in the Sacramento Mountains and had planned on taking a photograph I'd been wanting to shoot for quite a while. As I drove on a two track road the snow began to get too deep. Still miles away from the location, I had to turn around. There would be another time. Now I had to think of somewhere else to go. It had been a while since I had photographed Uncle Will's barn. There is a nice place to camp there. I knew it would probably line up with the Galactic Center of the Milky Way early in the morning, so off I went. When I turned onto the dirt road my mind was flooded with memories. As a child, sitting between my grandfather and dad in a pickup truck as we bounced from the roughness of the road. I remember driving by the apple trees. It seems back then they still bore fruit, but now they are well over 100 years old. The water from the creek flowing between them. I passed the nineteen forties something truck that still sat between the tall Ponderosa pines. I remember thirty years ago, taking a photograph of my daughter sitting on the bumper of the truck with wildflowers all around her. On the way in I saw two herds of Mule deer with two large buck in one of the herds. Mule deer have had a hard time in this country since the Elk have taken over. It was good to see the Mulies.
So much like I remembered until I finally reached my destination. The barn was collapsing. The back side had settled at least five feet. The hand hewned logs were falling out of the front, creating a large window that was not there before. My grandfather had a brother named Will and for whatever reason, this barn reminded him of his brother so he called it "Uncle Will's Barn". My grandfather died in 1987 and I still miss him deeply and think of him daily.
On the way home the radio was saying there was news of a possible shelter in place order. Thinking of the past and wondering what the future might hold, I was feeling a bit depressed. I know this barn will soon collapse. I know the apple trees will soon die and become a part of the Earth. I do know that the stars will continue to shine and I will wake up tomorrow with renewed hope and faith.